Proposed bill would expand sports betting in Washington state

With sports betting now legal in Washington state, casinos are expecting to see standing-room-only crowds for the Super Bowl. Because of its popularity, three Senators are pushing for legislation to allow for sports betting outside tribal lands to level the playing field.

Senate Bill 5587 calls for the legalization of sports wagering at cardrooms and racetracks, in addition to casinos. The bill is sponsored by Sens. Curtis King (R), Marko Liias (D), and Perry Dozier (R).

King says the expansion would provide the state with much-needed new revenue.

"Private cardrooms and racetracks in our state should have the same opportunity to offer sports wagering as Washington’s tribal casinos. This is an issue of fairness and equity. Washington state is walking away from millions of dollars in tax revenue by not allowing sports wagering at these private establishments. If this bill becomes law, it would provide more good-paying jobs, and tribal casinos likely would still have the vast majority of the sports-wagering business in Washington," King’s office said in a statement to FOX 13.

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King says that even if sportsbooks are expanded, he believes tribal casinos would retain the vast majority of betting action in Washington state.