Washington Bettors Still Can’t Capitalize Off Mariner’s Success

Let’s not kid ourselves, the Mariners have been one of the most downtrodden American sports franchises this entire century. Ever since they tied the MLB record for most wins in a single season (116) back in 2001, it’s been heartbreak after heartbreak. It started that same season when they failed to even make the World Series and it has lasted until now, when they’ve only returned to the playoffs once (last season as the wildcard).

However, Seattle’s fate is slowly changing. They are 36-30 this season — five games up in the AL West. If this trend continues, the Mariners will clinch its first division title in a whopping 23 years (ending one of the longest division droughts in all of the major sports).

Optimism has returned to T-Mobile Park, but there’s also a brand-new emotion brewing in the Pacific Northwest: frustration. By that, we mean a frustration from lack of betting options for Mariners fans and Washington sports fanatics in general. Let’s catch you up on the state of legal betting inside Washington.

Little Progress To Update Washington’s Sports Betting Laws

Sports betting IS legal in the state of Washington. However, it’s not a completely free market like other states. You see, any and all betting in Washington has to be done in Native American-owned casinos. These tribal facilities have the exclusive right to take in sports bets within state borders. Big-name operators like BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, etc. are barred from offering the service on their apps.

As you can imagine, this severely limits bettors. These native casinos are located in remote parts of the state — far from Seattle and other populated cities in Washington. Due to this rule, betting is an industry that makes eight figures when it should be nine or even ten figures if it were more wide-open.

Earlier this year, House Bill 1630 and Senate Bill 5587 were introduced to widen the accessibility of sports betting in-state. Those bills went nowhere and as of this writing, it doesn’t appear any changes are on the horizon inside Washington.

Oregon Numbers Offer Glimpse Into Washington’s Potential

How big is the Washington sports betting opportunity if it was widened beyond tribal casinos? When we said possibly ten figures, we weren’t exaggerating.

Perhaps the best tell is the state of Oregon, which neighbors Washington. They allow betting on sports anywhere in the state — so long as it comes from DraftKings, who have an in-state monopoly. Anyway, the state of Oregon is swimming in sports betting revenue.

Bask in December — during the height of the NFL season — Oregon set new records across the board in betting. For one, the sports betting handle reached its highest number ever at $73.2 million. Secondly, the tax revenue the state gets to keep also hit just under $10 million for a record of its own.

Mind you, Oregon has a population of about 4.2 million, give or take depending on the source. This is dwarfed by Washington’s population of 7.8 million — almost double that of Oregon.

Not to mention, Washington has a bigger sports scene than Oregon. Washington has three major pro teams — the aforementioned Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken. Plus, its college football team just reached the College Football Playoff final. Oregon? They got the Portland Trail Blazers and the underachieving Oregon Ducks, and that’s about it.

Factoring in the bigger population and the larger presence of pro teams, this is easily a nine-figure business for Washington, and that’s with conservative estimations. For all we know, Washington could tax betting like Illinois and New York are, and earn even more in revenues for themselves.

Eventually, Washington lawmakers have to realize the amount of money they’re leaving on the table by not opening up sports betting beyond native land. When that realization comes could take years, though. Thankfully, there is a workaround in the meantime for Washington-based bettors that want to gamble and we’re about to tell you.

Washington Bettors Can Still Go Offshore

Here’s an easy and effective workaround if you want to bet online in Washington without going to native casinos: use an offshore betting site. Any one of these sites can freely service Washington bettors.

Why? Because of their offshore status, these sites skirt around Washington laws, and even U.S. federal regulations. Not only does that mean bettors from anywhere can play there, but they also benefit from more features. Things like betting options on non-sports (politics, WWE, for example) and crypto support are strictly available offshore sites — licensed U.S. bookies aren’t allowed to do the same.

While there’s no shortage of offshore bookies, we recommend starting with one of the five listed below. Per our newest sportsbook reviews, these are the “best of the best” — especially for Washingtonians looking for sports action:

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All you have to do to get started is hit one of the “play now” buttons featured above. No lie, you can go from reading this sentence to betting within a few short minutes — it’s that simple to sign up. What are you waiting for, Washington bettors? The Mariners haven’t been this good in 20-something years so get on it before their luck changes.

Eric Uribe

Hailing from the US, Eric has channeled his passion for sports into a career in journalism. Building on his experience as a sports editor, he now focuses his expertise on reviewing sportsbook promos to find the best offers. With years covering sports from high school to the pros, he provides expert betting insights, especially fighting and football. When he's not giving advice, you'll find Eric at the sportsbook with a Red Bull vodka in hand, enjoying the thrill of the big game!