Oct 19, 2019; Pullman, WA, USA; Washington State Cougars helmet sits during football game against the Colorado Buffaloes in the first at Martin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Washington sports betting launch expected for NFL season

It looks like sports betting will be ready to launch in the state of Washington by the start of the 2021 NFL season.

Late last week the Washington State Gambling Commission (WSGC) approved a renegotiated compact with the native tribes in the state which was one of the final hurdles in the way of legalized sports betting.

When is Washington sports betting launch expected?

The new compact allows for sports betting in the state and now only needs the signature of Governor Jay Inslee to be signed into law.

[ See more Washington sports betting legalization news ]

Since they are making changes to a compact between the state and the tribes it also needs federal approval by the Department of the Interior. Sports betting in the state cannot proceed until this approval has been given.

Once the compact is signed by the Governor the WSGC will fast track sports betting rules and regulations in an attempt to have betting to go live in the state by the end of August. Draft rules and regulations are expected to be published for comment on July 7. Following a brief comment period, they could potentially be approved by July 28.

Accord to the Commission, three different types of sports betting licenses will be available to cater to different sized vendors. The license fee will be a maximum of $85,000 annually, with theses fees being reviewed annually to ensure they continue to match the Commission’s costs.

It’s been a long road to get sports betting legalized in Washington. They first passed legislation to legalize sports betting on tribal land in March, 2020. After the legislation passed through the House and Senate the existing tribal compacts still had to be updated to include sports betting.

With 29 gaming facilities operated by 22 tribes in the state altering these compacts successfully was an arduous and lengthy task.

One important factor that could initially limit the sports betting market in Washington is the lack of legal mobile sports betting. All bets must be placed on Tribal land and one of the many gaming facilities run by the tribes.