According to the latest reports by several news outlets focusing on the state of Washington, legal sports betting activities are coming to the state. It was also revealed that such activities will be legal only at brick and mortar casino venues owned and operated by tribal organizations. This was made possible several days back when the state’s Governor Jay Inslee signed the sports betting bill HB 2638 which was approved by the Senate in March.
This sports betting bill approved by the Governor of the state will allow sports betting activities at brick and mortar casinos which are operated by the state’s twenty-none tribal organizations which are federally recognized. In the following days, the state will renegotiate the specific gaming compacts that it has with its federally-recognized tribes. However, residents of the state will have to wait for some more time to engage in such activities as the state’s tribal casinos are temporarily shut down due to the global coronavirus crisis.
The Global Coronavirus Crisis
Like the rest of the United States casino industry, both commercial and tribal land-based casinos are shut down to minimize the spread of the highly-contagious COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Moreover, the coronavirus pandemic also directly caused shutdowns and postponements of major sports leagues and events across the globe which means that there are few sports events available on that sports betting fans can wager on.
At the time of writing this, the 2019-2020 coronavirus pandemic of coronavirus disease of COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV.2 or severe acute respiratory syndrome infected over 937,000 individuals globally and resulted in over 47,000 deaths. The coronavirus outbreak was identified back in late December in the city of Wuhan China while on the 11th of March it was recognized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization.
As of the 2nd of April, the coronavirus pandemic is present in over two hundred countries. As with other viral diseases, individuals get infected via close contact with infected people by small droplets which are produced by sneezing and coughing. Common complications include acute respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia. there is no any specific vaccine or antiviral treatment, so treatment includes only supportive therapies.
Online Sports Betting Class C Felony
When it comes to online sports betting activities in the state of Washington, these are considered a Class C felony which means residents of the state cannot legally engage in such activities. The bill active permits some forms of mobile sports betting, but only within the physical casino floors of tribal casinos. Speaking of the sports betting bill for the state of Washington, it also comes with an emergency clause that completely eliminated the need to have a referendum on the state’s level concerning legalizing sports betting activities.
This statewide referendum concerning legalizing sports betting activities would require a sixty percent majority to be approved. The bill’s emergency clause which eliminated the need for this referendum claims that the currently active bill is necessary in order to preserve the public safety, health, and peace as well as to support the state’s government and all other public institutions.
Some commercial casino operators active in the state of Washington including Maverick Gaming were rather upset from being left out from the latest sports betting bill which will definitely create a more inclusive sports betting market. All in all, the state of Washington was the very first state to approve some forms of sports betting activities within its borders in 2020.