As it stands, Washington sports betting is legal as of 2022. The first sportsbook to open its doors was owned by the Snoqualmie tribe that took the state’s first sports bets at its retail sportsbook on 9th September 2021
In fact, Washington was the first state to legalize sports betting in 2020, although this outcome didn’t necessarily suit everyone. Washington Legislature legalized sports betting in Washington only in the state’s tribal casinos – with online sports betting and mobile betting only allowed if on tribal grounds.
Where Can I Bet on Sports in Washington?
The law states that Washington sports betting is only legal at a tribal casino. However, even though all tribal casinos can offer sports betting, not all of them do – in fact, it still hasn’t taken off properly in the state yet.
The state is home to 30 tribal casinos owned and operated by 24 tribes.
- Casinos that can offer sports betting
- 12 Tribes Resort Casino in Omak
- Angel of the Winds Casino in Arlington
- Chewelah Casino in Chewelah
- Clearwater Casino and Resort in Suquamish
- Coulee Dam Casino in Coulee Dam
- Elwha River Casino in Port Angeles
- Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma
- Emerald Queen Casino at Fife in Fife
- Ilani Casino in Ridgefield
- Legends Casino in Toppenish
- Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton
- Lucky Eagle Casino in Rochester
- Mill Bay Casino in Manson
- Muckleshoot Indian Casino in Auburn
- Nooksack Northwood Casino in Lynden
- Northern Lights Casino in Anacortes
- Northern Quest Casino in Airway Heights
- Okanogan Bingo-Casino in Okanogan
- Point-No-Point Casino in Kingston
- Quil Ceda Creek Casino in Tulalip
- Quinault Beach Resort and Casino in Ocean Shores
- Red Wind Casino in Olympia
- Seven Cedars Casino in Sequim
- Shoalwater Bay Casino in Tokeland
- Silver Reef Casino in Ferndale
- Skagit Valley Casino Resort in Bow
- Snoqualmie Casino in Snoqualmie
- The Lucky Dog Casino in Skokomish
- Tulalip Resort Casino in Tulalip
- Two Rivers Casino in Davenport
However, it is important to state that this isn’t necessarily going to be the way forward for sports betting in the state. The CEO of Maverick Gaming, Eric Persson, who owns 19 of the card rooms in Washington said that he is considering suing over the emergency clause attached to the bill.
Will Online Washington Sports Betting Be Legalized?
Officially, online sports betting in Washington is legal as long as it is being done on tribal land. It appeared that the state legislature was looking for a slightly more timid approach to sports betting than some of the other bills that would have seen the legalization of sports betting at card rooms with online sports betting and mobile sports betting being available state-wide.
However, whether these tribes choose to launch an app that can only be used on tribal land remains to be seen. They have a similar issue in Mississippi, although they have yet to launch any mobile sports betting app yet.
Legal Sports Betting Options in Washington
The only legal option for sports betting in Washington is at tribal casinos. The first one to take a bet was the Snoqualmie Casino on 9th September 2021.
The current Washington sports betting bill allows for the following:
- Bets on professional sports
- Betting on NCAA and college sports apart from any event played by in-state teams
- Bets on the Olympics and other international sporting events
- eSports betting
How Will Online Betting in Washington Work?
Right now, the sports wagering law means that online sports betting is only legal on tribal land. That means that you would need to be situated on tribal land to make a bet online.
However, this is not yet available and there is no guarantee that any legal tribal casinos will create an app given how much it would cost and given the fact that the bettor would already be on tribal grounds where they can physically place a bet anyway.
Who Can Place a Sports Bet in Washington?
Sports betting is legal in the state, but only at a casino operated by one of the tribes. Any gaming facility established on tribal grounds will be subject to federal regulations. This would require a compact between the state government officials and the tribes.
Anyway, here are some of the key points you need to know if looking to place a bet in the Evergreen State.
Legal Age for Betting in Washington
The legal age for sports betting in Washington is 21 years or older. Although 18 is the minimum age for gambling in Washington, you need to be over 21 to enter an establishment that sells alcohol.
Mobile Sports Betting
It is only legal to make mobile sports bets in Washington if you are physically located at an authorized casino on tribal grounds. There is no legal provision for statewide online sports betting.
Remote Player Registration
No sports bettor in Washington can register, make a deposit or place a bet on mobile from anywhere within the state. All types of sports betting are only allowed at tribal casinos, where you can bet on mobile and in-person. Fully remote player registration would certainly be welcomed by many in the state.
Retail Sports Betting
It is only possible to make sports bets in Washington in person. All of Washington’s 30 tribal casinos are authorized to open a sportsbook as soon as they have a license. Nine of the state’s tribes signed deals in 202 which allowed them to launch sportsbooks on-site straight away. Right now, there are seven retail sportsbooks in operation.
Although Washington state doesn’t collect gambling tac, any winnings made from sports bets will be subject to income tax. This means that you are required to report any winnings made from a sports bet to the IRS on your next tax return.
Punters can expect to pay a 25% withholding tax on any winnings when they provide their SSN. This rises to 28% if you do not disclose this information.
The Pros and Cons of Sports Betting in Washington
As soon as they are officially licensed and regulated, any of the state’s 30 tribal casinos can accept sports bets at their casinos. However, right now, the tribes don’t necessarily consider online sports betting to be a big moneymaker right now.
Instead, many casino operators actually see mobile sports betting as a threat. Most owners of tribal casinos consider the regular footfall and activity of casino players to be the most reliable streams of revenue. However, Snoqualmie Casino made the move to launch its own mobile betting app in December 2021.
- There is access to legal sports betting in the state
- There are potentially 30 legal retail sportsbooks
- Legal betting is only available at licensed tribal casinos
- Statewide mobile sports betting is unavailable
- Daily fantasy sports contests haven’t been legalized.
Gambling Tax in Washington State
Although gambling tax isn’t set by Washington State, local cities and counties are allowed to individually tax gambling winnings. However, the state does regulate the maximum they are allowed to charge.
Most Popular Sports to Bet on in Washington
There are plenty of multiple professional sports teams based in Washington – however, it goes without saying that the most popular sport for betting in Washington is the NFL.
Washington NFL Betting
The team that attracts plenty of NFL betting action is the Seattle Seahawks. They have one of the best home-field advantages in the entire NFL and get plenty of support on game days.
Washington NBA Betting
Washington isn’t home to any pro-NBA basketball team after the Supersonics relocated to Oklahoma. However, with Portland being so close to Portland, just over the Southern Border, the Portland Trail Blazers enjoy plenty of support in those Washington sportsbooks.
Washington MLB Betting
The MLBs Seattle Mariners should keep Washington sports bettors going over the summer months. Basically, the team has the whole region tp itself, with the next closest team being located in the Bay Area of California.
Washington NHL Betting
In terms of NHL betting, Seattle has only just been awarded its own NHL franchise – Seattle Kraken. This is certainly going to attract some attention from sports fans in the state and is likely going to be where the majority of NHL Washington sports bets.
Washington MLS Betting
Although this isn’t the most popular sport to bet on in the US, the state is home to the Seattle Sounders FC in the MLS, which are likely to enjoy a decent handle on the soccer games.
Washington NCAA Betting
Unfortunately for fans of Washington college sports, the current casino sportsbooks in the states are not able to take bets on any state colleges or state events. As such, if the Washington State University Cougars or the Washington Huskies play particularly well, you can only place bets on them either across state borders or on an illegal offshore sportsbook.
Daily Fantasy Sports in Washington
At this moment in time, major DFS operators such as FanDuel and DraftKings will not accept entries from Washington state.
According to the Washington State Gambling Commission ‘Bracket pools, office sports pools and fantasy sports contests have never been authorized as gambling activities in Washington state. As such, they are considered illegal.
Legal Horse Betting in Washington?
Horse racing in Washington state is legal, but there are only two tracks where horse racing is authorized –
- Emerald Downs in Auburn
- Sun Downs in Kennewick
Horse racing betting is also legal in the state. Washington allows one off-track betting facility in each of the state’s counties. Right now, 13 out of the 39 counties offer an off-track betting facility.
The state gambling regulators have also authorized advance deposit wagering operators, which would allow Washington regulators to place horse racing bets online or on their mobile phones.
Currently, there are sic ADW operators licensed in Washington to offer online horse racing bets
- 123 Bet
- NYRA Bets
- Watch and Wager
Washington Sports Betting Timeline
How sports betting in Washington progressed up until now:
2020: Sports Betting is Legalized – But It’s Not the End
In 2020, two efforts were made to legalize sports betting at the beginning of the legislative session. The first involved tribal casinos and card rooms and would allow both to offer retail and mobile sports betting to customers.
However, it was the other that won out – legalizing sports betting only at tribal casinos. However, it looks likely that eventually this tribal bill will be taken to court after an emergency clause was added to the sports betting bill so that it could immediately be passed into law.
This clause would be to fund the state’s gaming regulator right away in order to attack any illegal sports betting markets. However, CEO of Maverick Gaming, Eric Persson claimed that it was simply to avoid the referendum required to change Washington gambling laws to legalize sports betting in card rooms.
He said that there was no way they could get a 60% majority approval for the bill allowing for only tribal casino betting. He also said that if this were to pass, he would sue.
Esports Betting in Washington State
eSports is becoming a much more popular betting market within the US and this is the same in Washington state sports betting. As such, although it is not widely available in the handful of retail sportsbooks available, it is highly likely that if and when online betting sites do open their virtual doors in Washington, this will be a popular option, with markets and bets on games such as CS:GO, FIFA, Dota 2, Overwatch, Rainbow Six, Starcraft 2 and King of Glory.
Legal Online Casinos Legal in Washington State
As it stands, land-based, physical casinos are legal in Washington state, but only on tribal lands. However, in terms of online casinos, they are not legal in Washington in any way, shape or form. In fact, the state has gone so far as to even make it illegal to transmit bay gaming information on the Internet. Even though there have been some recent moves on the legalization of sports betting, the stance on online casinos remains firm – no.
Online Sports Betting Washington State Markets
At any of the land-based tribal casinos – or online betting sites if and when they open, there will be access to all sorts of bet types and markets – not just which team will win the game. Let us take a look at the different markets that are available at most retail sportsbooks in Washington.
This is the most simple of bets – simply a wage on which team will win the match. This is generally the most popular type of sports bet at Washington state sportsbooks.
Total – Over/Under Bets
Over/Under bets allow you to place a bet on whether you think a result will be more or less than a number set by the sportsbook. Say, for example, in a soccer match, the sportsbook sets the line at 2.5 goals. You need to predict whether more or less than 2.5 goals will be scored in the match by both teams combined.
Props bets are those bets on an event that doesn’t directly affect which team will win or lose the game. So, for example, it might be a bet on which team or player you think will score first – or which player might score the most points etc.
One of the trickier bets to win is a correct score bet – as you need to correctly predict the exact final score of a match in order to get a return.
A parlay bet is a combination of sports bets combined into one big bet. You might, for example, bet that Team A will win one game, Team C will win a different game and Team E will win the third game – you need to be correct with all three bets to win, but the odds will be combined for a larger return
A futures bet is a wager on an event that will… happen in the future! But not necessarily an individual game, more like the final result of the league or tournament. It could be which team will win the NBA Championship, who will win the Super Bowl or World Series etc.
Washington Sports Betting FAQ
Is Sports Betting Legal in Washington?
Yes, there is legal sports betting in Washington – but only on tribal casinos. The first sportsbook in that state opened at the Snoqualmie Casino, just outside Seattle in September 2021.
Where Can I Bet on Sports in Washington?
Currently, the only legal way to place a bet in Washington is at the tribal casinos in the state. Eventually, sports betting will hopefully become available at many of the 30 tribal casinos in the state, but for now, it’s only around seven. There is the chance that a lawsuit will challenge the law around Washington state sports betting – maybe making it also legal in card rooms and online statewide.
Is Mobile Sports Betting Legal in Washington?
No, under the current law, mobile and online sports betting are not legal in the state. Under the law, as it is, the only way this is possible is if a tribal casino launches an app to allow bettors to use their phones to make bets whilst they are physically located on tribal lands. However, there is no regulation that makes online sports betting legal statewide.
Any website or online sports betting site that claims to accept bets from players within Washington state is unlicensed and unregulated. As such, there would be no legal protection if you choose to place a bet with them. There would be no legal recourse if they chose not to pay out your winnings or close without returning your funds.