OLYMPIA — Odds are you’ll be able to place your Seahawks Super Bowl bets before the start of the NFL season this fall.
The Tulalip Tribes and the Washington State Gambling Commission reached a tentative agreement Friday that will allow sports-betting facilities at two resorts on the Tulalip Reservation, the state agency announced in a news release.
“Sports wagering is an exciting new opportunity for Washingtonians,” Tulalip Tribes Chairwoman Teri Gobin said in the news release. “The revenue sports wagering provides — like all tribal gaming revenue — stays in Washington, creating jobs and increasing charitable contributions that benefit communities throughout the state.”
If all goes to plan, the tribes could have federal approval by the fall, said Rebecca George, executive director of the Washington Indian Gaming Association.
Sports gambling has long been illegal in Washington.
But under new rules signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee in 2020, bettors can wager on professional and collegiate sports, but not on college teams based in Washington. Additionally, bets must be placed at tribal casinos.
The Tulalip Tribes’ agreement is the first between the state gambling commission and a tribal government. The tribes own the Tulalip Resort Casino and Quil Ceda Creek Casino, both near I-5 on the reservation.
It will not be the last.
More than half of the 22 state’s federally recognized tribes with gaming operations have notified the governor’s office of their interest in offering sports betting. Stillaguamish in Arlington is one of them
Many of those tribes can now read what’s been negotiated and decide if they, as well, want to pursue it.
Exactly when sports betting could begin isn’t certain.
As the tribes and the commission work through their review process, the state will enact rules regulating and licensing firms that are contracted to handle sports book operations. The goal is get those in place by the start of the NFL regular season.
Next, lawmakers in the state House and Senate will review the agreement.
That could be next week, gambling commission spokesperson Brian Considine said in an email.
On June 10, the gambling commission is set to vote on the deal.
If approved, it will go to Gov. Inslee and Chairwoman Gobin, to be signed.
After that, the secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior must OK the deal and publish it in the Federal Register.
Nationwide, sports betting is up and running in 21 states, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, according to the American Gaming Association.
In the last year, the national association reported a 171% increase in tax revenue from sports betting.
Herald writer Jerry Cornfield contributed to this article.