Here’s a guide to Washington sports betting. Legalized in March 2020, sports betting in Washington takes place at tribal casinos. Online gambling is illegal in the state. The minimum age to bet on sports is either 18 or 21, depending on the casino.
The Path To Legalization
The sports betting industry in the United States started to take off in 2018 after the United States Supreme Court lifted the federal ban. Some states passed laws quickly. However, Washington took additional time before they passed a sports betting law.
It was House Bill 2638 that eventually legalized sports betting in the state of Washington. Both chambers of the state legislature overwhelmingly approved sports betting, and it was signed into law on March 25, 2020.
When sports betting was being discussed, lawmakers agreed that it would be up to the Native American tribes to offer betting. Any tribe that had a casino was eligible for a sports betting license, but they also had to amend the current gaming compact that they had.
Unlike most other states, the Washington sports betting law does not allow for any type of outside company to apply for a sports betting license. The big sportsbook operators can partner with Native American tribes, but there are no online-only licenses available.
Washington’s Sports Betting Launch and Early Results
The sports betting launch in Washington was extremely small, and it didn’t come with a lot of excitement or recognition. September 10, 2021, was the first time bets were accepted in the state, and there has been slow progress since that time.
The overall results for sports betting in Washington are about what was expected, but there weren’t any big projections for this market. This state is going to continue being one of the smallest sports betting markets in the country, as there just aren’t any real mobile options.
It is the states that have the most online sportsbooks or mobile apps that tend to have the most success.
What Does the Mobile Sports Betting Scene Look Like?
The mobile sports betting scene in the state of Washington is virtually non-existent, and it will likely remain that way. Native American tribes are allowed to launch a mobile sportsbook app, but only one option has emerged at this time.
Not only are the Native American tribes the only option to offer an online sportsbook, but there is also a limit on where mobile betting can take place. Those mobile sportsbook apps are only going to work on the Native American tribal land.
Sports Teams to Bet on in Washington
Washington law states that it’s illegal to bet on college sports teams within the state. This excludes major Division I programs such as the Washington Huskies or the Washington State Cougars. However, Washington is home to many professional sports franchises in a variety of leagues.
The major professional teams that call Washington home are the Seattle Mariners (MLB), Seattle Seahawks (NFL), and the Seattle Kraken (NHL). There are a few other professional sports teams outside of the four major leagues, including the Seattle Sounders FC (MLS), the Seattle Storm (WNBA), and the OL Reign (National Women’s Soccer League).
The Seattle Mariners are in Major League Baseball’s American League West Division. The team plays at T-Mobile Park in the heart of Seattle. Founded in 1977, the Mariners manager is Scott Servais.
The Seattle Seahawks have been the most successful franchise in Seattle over the years. The Seahawks coach is Pete Carroll. The team has won multiple division and conference titles as well as one Super Bowl in 2013.
The Seattle Kraken is the newest NHL team in the league, and they have provided a terrific new option for sports fans in Washington. The Kraken struggled in their first season, but they are now one of the better teams in the NHL in 2023.
All these teams will provide bettors with plenty of excitement throughout the year once sportsbooks launch in the state.
FAQ for Betting in Washington?
Is sports betting legal in Washington?
Yes, sports betting was legalized in the state on March 25, 2020. Sports betting is only permitted on tribal land.
When did the first sportsbooks launch in Washington?
The first retail sportsbook in the state of Washington launched on September 10, 2021, at the Snoqualmie Casino.
Are there mobile sportsbooks in Washington?
The online mobile sportsbook in Washington is the Snoqualmie Casino mobile sportsbook app, which only works on its reservation. There haven’t been any other plans announced for new operators to launch.
What is the legal betting age in Washington?
The legal betting age in Washington varies by location. Some casinos require bettors to be at least 18 years of age, but others require you to be 21 years of age.
Are you allowed to bet on college sports in Washington?
You can bet on college sports in the state of Washington, but there is a restriction as well. The sports betting law has restricted wagers on in-state college teams.