Washington sports betting laws won’t stop fans from betting on their brackets
SPOKANE, Wash. — Every year when March rolls around, millions of people across the country break the law — and they might not even know it.
It’s easy for us to get caught up in the madness of the NCAA tournament and forget that the traditional office pool, which seemingly everyone is in on, is technically illegal in Washington and Idaho.
This year, 4.7 million adults will bet $8.5 million on the tournament, according to a new study from the American Gaming Association, with even more people are expected to gamble now that the Supreme Court made way in May for legal sports betting across the country.
Legislators here in Washington are trying to capitalize on that ruling and ease up on fans, by introducing a bill which would make sports gambling legal at the state’s tribal casinos. The bill is seemingly dead in the House right now, but legislators are hoping to reintroduce it next year.
“Even if you don’t make it legal through the casinos on the Indian reservations, things like that, people are still gonna do it,” said Duke fan Tony Swartz. “We allow all other gambling within tribal casinos, so why not sports betting?”
Swartz has filled out 20 brackets so far and is going all in on his office pool. Like millions of other Americans, he’s choosing Duke to go all the way.
“People hate us. People hate Duke fans. That’s the nation consensus about Duke fans. We’re hated. I mean, when I picked Duke, people are like ‘of course you did… Shocker,'” he said. “I wish I could take the whole month off just to watch the games and not be at work.”
Swartz isn’t alone in his bracket picks. The American Gaming Association study found the majority of bettors are choosing Duke to win, followed by Gonzaga.
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