Washington Next State to Legalize Online Sports Betting?

by Staff & Contributors

Chances are that the fans of the Seahawks, Mariners and Dragons have something extra to cheer about: online sports betting will soon be legal in Washington!

The bill for online betting, ​SB 6394​, was approved by the ​Senate Labor & Commerce Committee. The companion bill in the House, HB 2638, was looking promising and also received an approval. After that, it’s just one pen stroke away from law.  Governor Jay Inslee is expected to sign the bill, which would legalize online sportsbetting in ​Washington. How long until you can make online sports bets? Approval is one thing, and actuality is another. Every online casino must have a land-based casino partner. That land-based casino has to be willing to pay the initial start-up costs, including state licensing and the development of appropriate, reliable software.

Software developers are crucial at this stage. The software must have a means of guaranteeing that players are within Washington state lines. Betting outside of Washington with a Washington-based online casino would break federal law, which no one wants.

This means that players location must be determined while they’re playing online. In the case of those playing on mobile devices, that is a rather simple matter of using GPS to determining location. As WiFi signals can be more complicated, the software must guarantee that those playing from desktops or laptops are within state boundaries.

But Washington would be very motivated to get online sports betting up and running. A major motivation is their neighbor to the south. Online sports betting is already up and running in Oregon, and many Washington residents are jumping across the border to place bets on their favorite games.

Why have things moved so slowly? Land-based casinos can be very hesitant toward online sportsbooks. The fear is that online casinos will take all the money away from land-based casinos, or that casino-hopping will be so quick that most casinos will end up losing.

However the reality is that the online casinos are helping their land-based businesses. The case of the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City, New Jersey, is a good example. The physical casino had been losing money, but its online casino is the most successful in the U.S. So the online casino has dug the Nugget out of its hole.

Getting a piece of the action

The hope of many tribal casinos, both those that are thriving and those that are struggling, is to mimic Golden Nugget’s success. In all likelihood, what we’ll see in Washington is online sportsbooks competing with each other for new customers. The competition usually centers around welcome bonuses, which is great news for new online sportsbook customers. Be sure to ​check out betnj.com​ for the low down on all the sportsbook welcome bonuses.

Washington is one of the top 5 states for professional sports, so we can expect to see some great action at the new online sportsbooks. Stay tuned for the latest news and action!

Previous post:

Next post: