Full Washington Senate gets bill to allow sports gambling at tribal casinos

A Washington legislative panel has advanced a bill to allow sports gambling at the state’s Indian casinos, despite concerns about an attached emergency clause. The Senate Ways and Means Committee on Monday rejected calls to scrap the emergency clause, which blocks the measure from being subjected to a statewide referendum requiring 60 percent support to pass. Sports betting is expanding in the United States following a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed for it to be legalized in every state. Sports wagers can now be made legally in more than a dozen states, including Oregon. The Washington bill, already passed by the House, would allow Indian casinos to amend their gambling compacts with the state to allow betting on sporting events. However, it prohibits betting on sporting events involving Washington-based colleges and universities. The committee sent the bill to the full Senate despite objections that it grants a tax-free monopoly to the state’s Indian tribes while hurting smaller commercial card-room casinos. Committee members did amend the bill to exclude minor league sports, meaning the legislation technically must be reapproved by the House if it passes the Senate. (AP, Seattle Times)