Tulalip Tribes & Washington regulator strike sports wagering alliance

The Washington State Gambling Commission has unveiled a tentative agreement alongside the Tulalip Tribes to amend its class III gaming compact to add sports wagering.

This concludes an almost year-long negotiation process between Governor Jay Inslee, who had signed ESHB 2638 to authorise sports wagering at tribal casinos, and the Tulalip Tribes, which operates the Tulalip Resort Casino and Quil Ceda Creek Casino facilities in the state.

“We believe that this compact amendment is a thoughtful approach by the tribe and state that ensures sports wagering will be conducted with the highest integrity while protecting the public by keeping gambling legal and honest,”  explained Bud Sizemore Washington State Gambling Commission chair.  

“The state and tribal negotiation team did a great job coming to this agreement. There is still a lot of work before the first regulated sportsbook opens in our state, and I’m hopeful sports wagering can launch before the NFL regular season begins.”

This is the first sports wagering compact agreement in the state, with the amendment establishing the framework for sports wagering at the tribe’s facilities while recognising its track record of successfully operating and regulating gaming in accordance with their compact.

The next step will see legislative hearings held in the Senate Labor, Commerce, and Tribal Affairs and House Commerce and Gaming Committees.

The WSGC will then view and vote on the compact amendment on June 10, 2021, which if approved, will be followed by the official signing by the tribal chair and governor. 

Once signed by both, the tribe will send the amendment to the Secretary of the United States Department of Interior for consideration and publication in the Federal Register. The compact amendment is not final, and sports wagering cannot begin, until this is achieved.

“We are extremely satisfied with the compact amendment and our ability to work together with the state on this effort to maintain a strong regulatory environment for gaming in Washington State,” commented Teri Gobin, Tulalip chairperson.  

“Sports wagering is an exciting new opportunity for Washingtonians. 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.”