Lawsuit Filed in Washington Over Tribal Sports Betting

Just when you thought everything was going smoothly for legal sports betting over in Washington, a new twist has come into place. That’s because a lawsuit filed in Washington over tribal sports betting has arrived and it could change the landscape of things. As betting currently stands, sports wagers can only be done through tribal casinos in the state.

That’s been this way since it was made legal to make sports bets in person and people have loved it. However, there’s also other card rooms and casinos that feel like they’re missing out on the action. Why in the world should legal casinos around the state not be given the same opportunities as the tribal casinos. People are not happy about this and they’re hoping for a change.

That’s what Maverick Gaming CEO Eric Persson is hoping can get done. According to a report from KUOW in Washington, Persson filed the lawsuit because he believes there should be a level playing field when it comes to sports betting and the tribal casinos shouldn’t be the lone authority there. He said the tribes are trying to bully their way to the top, and he won’t stand for it.

At the same time, the tribes aren’t going to just sit back and let Persson bad mouth them like this, as they’re ready to do whatever is needed to keep things as they are. Only time will tell what ends up happening, but if a judge rules in favor of Persson, then it would change the landscape of sports betting for the state. It could lead to lawsuits in other states as well.

Sports betting in Washington continues to be popular

What makes this case so intriguing is that sports betting in Washington continues to be popular for fans everywhere. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as there are multiple professional teams in Washington and their supporters surely enjoy placing bets on them whenever they’re in action. Heck, people like placing wagers during the offseason too.

Right now, people are consistently checking the best rated sportsbooks as the Major League Baseball season is in full swing. The Seattle Mariners are one of the most popular teams in the state and fans love watching and betting on them. Unfortunately, Seattle’s odds on  top MLB betting sites have dropped significantly, as they’re in last place of the AL West standings. This is not what people expected.

This was supposed to be the year the Mariners got back to the postseason, but that’s feeling like a long shot. However, another popular team are the Seattle Sounders, as they’ve got great MLS odds to potentially win the title. Seattle just won the CONCACAF Champions League title and people are still talking about that all over town.

Add in the Seattle Seahawks and people checking out the NFL odds and you know there’s plenty of chances for people to bet on their favorite teams. For now, they can only head to tribal casinos to make those bets – online betting is also an option. Persson wants people at his card rooms and other casinos as well, though, which is why this lawsuit has been presented. How will it turn out?

It’s up in the air what will happen with the lawsuit

Looking ahead to what might go down, it’s up in the air what will happen with the lawsuit. On one side of things, Persson feels confident that he’ll be able to present a quality case and have the judge rule in his favor. At the same time, though, you must remember that the tribal casinos didn’t just present these rules and betting options on their own. Then, this would become a much bigger problem for them.

However, they worked closely with Washington officials, of course including the governor, to make sure that everything in place was good to go and they could move forward. This was all done legally and by the book. Because of this, it really is going to be tough for Persson to try and win this one. It almost feels like he’d need some sort of miracle to pull this off.

That’s been the general feeling across the state. This would be different if the tribes acted on their own and didn’t get authorization to move forward with the sports betting operations at their casinos. Instead, though, they followed the laws, got clearance and they’ve been able to move forward with things as instructed. This includes the opening of the sportsbooks at the Emerald Queen Casino.

That’s a popular casino and people have been racing to that side of the state, just outside of proper Seattle, to get some bets in. This is going to continue this summer for the baseball season and things will only pick up in the fall once the NFL kicks off and the Seattle Seahawks will be back in action. Persson will hope that he gets some good news, but it just doesn’t seem likely at this point.

 

Peter Lewis

Peter Lewis Jr. comes from Mississippi where he and his family spend their days discussing college football and basketball. He's written sports journalism for years after studying journalism at a local university.