Legalized Sports Gambling Could Be Coming to Washington

Legalized sports betting could be coming to the state of Washington.

A bill proposal is being considered by the Washington House committee that would make betting on professional sports and some college sports legal at tribal casinos in the state.

Under the current proposal, the bill would exclude betting on colleges that reside in the state of Washington. For example, gamblers could wager on the Seahawks and Mariners but not on Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament or Washington State or Washington athletics. Gamblers could bet on games played outside of the state between other colleges. All wagers would have to be placed at a tribal casino and placing a bet on a laptop or cellphone would remain against the law.

The Gaming Committee Chairman, Strom Peterson tells the Spokesman-Review the bill is slowly moving the state of Washington "into the new arena of gambling." Peterson believes excluding local college athletics is an attempt to uphold the integrity of college sports.

Eleven states have legalized sports betting since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal law against it. Throughout 2019 in more than $11-billion was spent on sports wagers in the country.

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