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by: Keith Eldridge - posted on:

The state has moved a step closer to seeing sports wagering at tribal casinos.

Governor Jay Inslee approved agreements with 15 tribes this week and another tribe just got the okay from the state Gambling Commission. Approval at the federal level is the next step.

Las Vegas no longer has the monopoly on sports wagering. Seven states now offer betting and with the stroke of a pen Washington became the eighth. Inslee signed the new sports betting bill March 25, 2020 into law.

“This will give people the opportunity to participate in a new gaming activity that is safe and well regulated by the tribes," Inslee said.

But it wasn’t until this week that the governor signed the approval to the first tribes to apply. The Colville, Cowlitz, Jamestown S’Klallam, Kalispel, Lummi, Muckleshoot, Puyallup, Shoalwater Bay, Snoqualmie, Spokane, Squaxin Island, Stillaguamish, Suquamish, Swinomish, and Tulalip tribes.

The Skokomish Lucky Dog Casino will be the 16th getting approval from the state gambling commission Thursday. Tom Strong, Skokomish Tribal Council vice chair said, “We’re a relatively small casino and we’re looking for additional offerings to make available to our patrons knowing these things are all pretty limited.”

Once the governor gives the okay the final step is to get the approval from the Secretary of the Interior.

The tribes and gambling commission hope this can all happen in time for the opening of the NFL season. Places like the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma with the Puyallup Tribe have sports gambling parlors all set to go.

But the operators of non-tribal casinos say, why not them too?

“This is one of these things where it’s a win-win,” said Eric Persson of Maverick Gaming. “And I’m glad the tribal gaming is getting it. Commercial gaming needs it as well.”

Sen Curtis King, (R-Yakima) in February of 2020 when only tribal casinos were given the go-ahead said, “The tribes will share in it, but I think our card rooms and our employees within those cardrooms and the state of Washington should benefit from sports wagering.”

The non-tribal casinos said they will make another plea at the next legislative session to be included in sports wagering.

This article appears originally on KOMO News.