Is it legal to bet in Washington?

Washington state online gambling is legal, but there are many things that you need to know if you are looking to bet in the state. Sports betting has not launched in Washington, but it’s expected to be available by football season. This is exciting for residents, but there are many negatives for Washington sports wagering. 

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Washington’s betting framework will make offshore sports betting still have a presence in the state. Offshore sportsbooks are very prominent in the state. Sports betting was legalized in Washington in 2020, but it has not launched.

When wagering goes live, people in the state will not be able to wager from their phones unless they are on tribal property. States without universal online gambling perform poorly throughout the nation for their betting handles. More people will wager when it’s convenient. Retail betting is not always convenient because it requires people to drive to a casino and place a wager.

The commute to a casino will make people think twice before placing a bet in Washington. Retail books may be popular on the weekends, but the WA sports betting market will struggle during the week without online betting. 

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Offshore Sportsbooks are the best option

Offshore sportsbooks like Bovada and MyBookie control the betting markets in states where mobile betting is not legal. WA residents are currently gaming on offshore platforms. In a state with mobile online gambling, there are no reasons to utilize offshore sites.

However, in Washington’s retail-only format, an overwhelming number of people will continue to bet from their phones. This will cause the state to lose countless dollars in tax revenue.

Washington was the first state to pass sports betting in 2020, but there are still multiple controversies around the future industry in the state. The outcome of sports betting was one that nobody wanted to see come to fruition.

The complaints in the state amongst residents were numerous when the legislature did not include widespread online betting in the bill. When sports betting goes live, wagers will only be allowed at tribal casinos in the state. There are 30 tribal casinos in Washington which are run by 24 tribes.

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Washington Did Not Pass a Sports Betting Bill

States gained the ability to legalize sports betting in 2018 when the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was deemed unconstitutional. Multiple states battled this law in the American legal system, but New Jersey headed the effort. 

The Washington legislature did not jump at the opportunity to pass a sports betting bill. The first efforts were not made until 2020 when sports betting was passed in the state. During the legislative session, there were two separate efforts to pass Washington sports betting.

One of the bills called for sports betting at tribal casinos and card rooms throughout the state. These two entities would be allowed to offer retail betting. Additionally, there would have been mobile gambling allowed throughout Washington.

The legislature removed this bill, which made room for the future winning bill that solely legalized sports betting on tribal grounds. Governor Jay Inslee quickly signed the law to deter the opposition from taking legal action. 

Cardrooms and mobile betting providers were very frustrated with the bill because they were excluded from the future sports wagering market. The state is home to over 7.6 million people, and there are multiple professional sports teams to wager in WA.

Washington Could do More in a Retail Format

The Washington State Gaming Commission will preside over the market that is bound to disappoint financially. The state could do more in a retail format to make money by offering licenses to professional sports franchises, but the bill does not take this into account.

The first set of sports betting rules will be released this July. The public will be allowed to comment on the laws, and the commission will hear the complaints. The tax rates and licensing fees will also be released with the regulations.

People in the state are expected to complain over the sports betting framework, but it will not make a difference for the first draft of rules. People want universal mobile wagering, which cannot be done based on the state’s current gaming laws.

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Washington to Release Sports Betting Law Soon

Washington’s goal is to release the final set of sports betting laws by July 28. Once the updated tribal compacts are approved by the Department of Interior, sports betting will be able to launch. The compacts are expected to breeze through federal inspection.

The Department of Interior has been very busy in 2021 approving updated tribal compacts. States have seen the economic benefit of sports betting and quickly passed laws to benefit from wagering financially.

If sports betting occurs by the first week of the NFL season, it will help the state. However, profits will quickly falter because of the lack of mobile betting when people are not on tribal property. 

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Five Reasons to Bet on Sports in Washington

Even though retail wagering is prominent in Washington, there are still many benefits to gaming in the state. People throughout the nation betting from their phones may miss out on these opportunities.

Countless Providers

Online gambling Washington may be limited with apps only available on tribal property. However, many sports betting licenses will be available. There are 30 tribal casinos, and all the properties will be entitled to a sportsbook.

These casinos will likely partner with betting platforms like DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM. Your access to specific sportsbooks may be limited based on where you live in the state. However, the casinos are scattered throughout the state, so the odds are that a location near you will be operated by a reliable betting company.

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Fun Atmosphere

Betting in person at a retail sportsbook is a better wagering experience than gaming from your phone. The issue with retail wagering is that it’s not convenient. Although, the retail sportsbooks at the tribal casinos are expected to be very entertaining and luxurious.

When you place a winning bet in a landlocked sportsbook, it feels like a significant win because of the camaraderie at the property.  

Security

Online sportsbooks are very safe, but you do not have to enter your credit card to place a bet at landlocked locations. You will have to pay with cash at retail sportsbooks inside the tribal casinos. 

You will have no fear of having your credit card information stolen unless you drop it at the casino.

Quick Payouts

The best part about betting in person is the quick payouts that you receive from a sportsbook. If you plan to travel to a casino and watch a game, you can receive a payout on-site at the property.

Payouts are given in cash, unlike on a mobile sportsbook. Mobile sportsbooks have multiple withdrawal methods, but very few are instant. If you do find an instant payout method, the chances are that you will have to pay some type of transaction fee. 

Another great part about Washington sports betting is that you can have payouts shipped by the casino. If you place a bet in advance but want to watch the game from your house, you can still get paid without any additional effort.

The sportsbooks at the tribal casino can ship your payout if you are not on-site to receive winnings. If you are willing to drive to a casino to place a wager, you will not need to drive back to receive your cash.

Customer Service

With retail sports betting, you have access to immediate customer service. You will place bets with a real person or on a kiosk with casino employees standing by to help. Technical issues will be limited, with minimal online bets being placed.

With online gambling in Washington state, you can place wagers from your phone on tribal property. If you have an issue with a mobile sportsbook, you are already at the casino, which means help is nearly immediate.

Washington has a promising gambling economy, so the casinos know how to treat customers. This mentality will transfer to sports wagering.