Ongoing negotiations with the state will likely delay sports betting at Shoalwater Bay Casino until after the first of the year.
On Wednesday, September 1, the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs approved amendments to the nine-tribe gambling agreements with the state, which allows them to focus on building books and sports shows and hiring someone to conduct their sports betting activities. The office’s actions were published in the Federal Register on September 1.
The nine federally recognized tribes whose compact amendments were listed on September 1 are the Tulalips, Stillaguamish, Suquamish, Snoqualmie, Lummi, Puyallup, Squaxin, Cowlitz, and Spokane.
The Shoalwater Bay Tribe, along with the Confederate Colville Reservation Tribes, Jamestown S’Klallam, Kalispel, Muckleshoot, Swinomish and Skokomish, are still waiting for the action.
“Yes, we have an agreement with the state to make a bookie, the delay is with the Washington State Gambling Commission,” said Johnny Winokur, general manager of Shoalwater Bay Casino. “There are a lot of rules, protocols, and fees to negotiate that are ongoing right now.”
In June, Winokur announced that the casino was moving forward with plans to build a 400-square-foot sportsbook / lounge complex, complete with several big-screen TVs, seating and special food on game days. At the time, Winokur was hoping sports betting would be up and running in time for the Seattle Seahawks’ football season.
While negotiations are still ongoing, Winokur now says he personally doesn’t see any sportsbook opening until Q1 2022, but “you never know how fast things are going” when it comes to state negotiations. “We’ll be ready as soon as they tell us to go.”
Among the tribes whose gambling pacts were entered in the register this week are the Tulalips and the Stillaguamish. Now they and the other listed tribes can focus on building books and sports shows and hiring someone to run their sports betting business.
“We are moving as quickly as possible,” said Teri Gobin, President of the Tulalip Tribes. They hope to open sports betting areas at Tulalip Resort Casino and Quil Ceda Casino between November 1 and January 1, she said.
“We are getting closer but we are not there yet. We want to be sure that we are choosing the right suppliers, ”she said. “We want to make sure we make the right decision for the tribe. “
Fifteen companies are in the process of obtaining a license from the State Gaming Commission to operate in Washington. They include industry giants like DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesar’s Sportsbook, Scientific Games, and BetMGM.
A powerhouse, International Game Technology (IGT) has already signed an agreement with the Snoqualmie tribe to power sports betting at Snoqualmie Casino in King County.
Washington’s sports betting law, passed in 2020, allows betting on professional, college, international, and Olympic sports, as well as e-sports. However, you will not be able to bet on University Washington teams. And the law prohibits betting on minor league sports and high school or youth athletics.
Under mostly identical agreements, betting will be permitted in a sports betting environment – similar to what one might see in a Las Vegas casino – as well as in kiosks on a gambling hall. In addition, players will be able to create accounts so that they can place bets from a mobile device.
The device would allow betting elsewhere on the “premises” of casino properties, such as hotels, conference rooms and casino-attached entertainment areas. No bets can be made on golf courses or in convenience stores that are not directly attached to a casino.
In April, the Tulalip Tribes became the first to reach an agreement with the National Gambling Agency on how to place sports betting at their casinos. In June, the state’s gaming panel unanimously approved deals with most of the tribes.
Daily World writer Dan Hammock contributed to this report.