The Snoqualmie Casino opened last week Washington's first sportsbook, giving sports fans a place not only to bet on games, but watch them on the book’s many TV monitors.
The sportsbook’s opening was timed just hours before kickoff of the NFL regular season with Thursday’s night’s game between Tampa Bay and Dallas.
“It is only because of the hard work and collaboration between the Washington State Gambling Commission, the Snoqualmie Gaming Commission, and our casino team members that we are able to accomplish this milestone in time for the kickoff of the NFL season,” Stanford Le, the casino’s CEO and president, said in a news release.
Snoqualmie Casino received regulatory approval Aug. 31, allowing the licensing of vendors, one of the final steps in opening.
Gov. Jay Inslee last year signed House Bill 2638 authorizing sports wagering for Class III tribal facilities under terms negotiated in tribal-state compacts, the Washington State Gambling Commission said in a separate press release this week. In July, the commission unanimously voted to approve sports wagering licensing rules that took effect Aug. 30.
“The kickoff of sports wagering is the result of hard work by the Washington State Gambling Commission and the tribes that began more than a year ago,” Commission Chair Bud Sizemore said in the release. “Working with our tribal partners and tribal gaming agencies, we negotiated compact amendments, developed new rules, and learned the intricacies of operating professional sports books. Together we built a sports wagering menu that will offer casino customers a wide array of gaming opportunities on sporting events from around the world. … The work reflects our commitment to protect the public by ensuring that gambling is legal and honest.”
In addition to the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe, 15 other Washington tribes — the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Cowlitz Indian Tribe, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, Kalispel Tribe of Indians, Lummi Nation, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe, Spokane Tribe, Squaxin Island Tribe, Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, Suquamish Tribe, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Tulalip Tribe of Washington, and Skokomish Indian Tribe — plan to offer sports wagering.
Currently, sports bettors can place wagers at the sportsbook ticket window or at any of six kiosks throughout the Snoqualmie Casino floor. Within weeks of opening, mobile betting will be available within a geo-fence perimeter of the casino.
Bets can be placed on pro baseball, basketball, boxing, football, golf, hockey, MMA, motorsports, soccer, tennis, and NCAA baseball, basketball, and football. However, bets cannot be placed on college teams based in Washington state.
“The Snoqualmie Tribe is proud that its casino is the first to launch sports wagering in Washington,” Snoqualmie Tribe Chairman Robert de los Angeles said in the casino’s news release. “Sports in the Pacific Northwest represents a source of pride for our team members and our neighbors. It is with great joy that we celebrate the new football season by launching the closest sportsbook to Seattle’s sports district.”
Former Seattle SuperSonics star Shawn Kemp placed the first bet Thursday amid a crowd of several hundred sports bettors and spectators.