With bill signed, sports betting is coming to tribal casinos

The new law allows wagering on most college and professional sporting events.

OLYMPIA — It will soon be possible in Washington to bet on college and professional sporting events, but only at tribal casinos.

Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday signed a bill legalizing sports betting, although wagers will not be allowed on minor league baseball and contests involving public or private colleges based in Washington.

Under House Bill 2638, the governor would need to negotiate a new or amended compact with any tribe wishing to offer betting in their casino. Rep. Strom Peterson, D-Edmonds, authored the legislation.

Inslee left in place an emergency clause enabling the law to take effect immediately. This precludes anyone from attempting to repeal the bill with a referendum on the fall ballot.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 struck down a 1992 federal law prohibiting sports betting in most states. More than a dozen states, including Oregon, have done so.

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