Washington State has become the latest of the 50 states of the United States to pass legislation that could eventually allow on-premises and in-person mobile sports and esports betting at any of the 29 tribal casino establishments that are already legal within the state.
At present, people can visit these 29 casinos and play a standard selection of casino games. This new legislation would extend the options available to casino providers and customers by allowing them to bet on sports and esports, either in a booth or via a mobile device, while they are on the premises of the casino.
Customers would be allowed to place bets on collegiate and professional sports events both in and outside of the United States, as well as being able to bet on a number of esports tournaments hosted around the globe.
Senate Ways and Means Committee
After House Bill 2638 was passed in Washington last week by the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee, having already passed through a vote of the Washington House of Representatives, it now goes on to the final stage of being voted through the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
If the bill then passes through this final stage, it will become law and the Washington State Gambling Commission will then become responsible for overseeing the awarding of licenses to casino operators to allow this additional form of wagering on the premises.
It is also important to note that this Bill isn’t as all-encompassing as bills from other states, such as New Jersey or Pennsylvania as the Washington bill does not include any permission to allow online gambling within the state, other than betting via mobile while in a casino.
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State of Flux
The news from Washington State is indicative of the current state of flux that the betting and esports betting industry is in at present across the United States. While some states still ban almost all forms of betting, many, such as the recent news regarding Colorado, are now taking steps to allow at least some forms of wagering within their state borders.
Along with Colorado, other states such as Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana and West Virginia have all moved forward with legislation to allow some form of gambling within their state boundaries in recent times. Many others are looking to follow the example of Washington and to follow suit.
Many experts feel that the United States remains one of the largest mainly ‘untapped’ markets for sports and esports betting and that legislation being passed by states is finally allowing citizens the opportunities to enjoy many different forms of betting legally, and in doing so raising significant state taxes which are then reinvested back into state infrastructure.
Open The Door
While the Washington State bill doesn’t allow for online gambling, simply betting on sports and esports within any of the 29 tribal casinos already in state, it is seen very much as a first step to open the door to allowing online betting in the state.
Images courtesy of ESPN