Washington to hold hearings on sports betting regulation

10 July 2019

The Washington State Gambling Commission is seeking public input on the future of sports gambling in Washington, including discussion of three bills that were introduced during the 2019 legislative session.

At its public meeting on July 11, 2019, at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, the Gambling Commission will discuss the current sports gambling bills – HB 1975, HB 1992, SB 5965 – before the Legislature.

House Bill 1975 authorizes sports betting only within tribal casinos. Gambling information may be transmitted over the Internet under the proposed bill, but wagers may not be placed online.

“Tribes have more than twenty years' experience with, and a proven 11 track record of, successfully operating and regulating gaming 12 facilities in accordance with tribal gaming compacts,” the bill said. It is sponsored by Democratic representatives Eric Pettigrew, Steve Kirby, Marcus Riccelli, Joe Fitzgibbon, Monica Jurado Stonier, Steve Tharinger, Gerry Pollet and Republican representative Jim Walsh.

There are 29 federally recognized Indian tribes in Washington state, all of whom have a gaming compact with the state.

House Bill 1992 — sponsored by republican representative Joe Shmick — would allow sports betting only on-site at licensed horse racing tracks.

Senate Bill 5965, meanwhile, is a title-only bill sponsored by Republican senator Ann Rivers.