Washington State Starts Sports Betting Process

The Washington State Gambling Commission (WSGC) approved “pre-licensing qualification rules” on Wednesday, setting out a list of what interested sportsbook operators should start getting together before the application process starts.

The WSGC is simply gathering input from concerned parties because it cannot accept new operators until a more detailed set of regulations has been accepted. According to Sports Handle, WSGC Director Dave Trujillo said, “This rule is not the end-all, be-all for sports wagering. But it starts the process.”

Renegotiate tribal compacts

Washington lawmakers allowed sports wagering on the premises only at tribal casinos on March 25, 2020, making it one of only two states to do so last year. Virginia, on the other hand, became legal in April 2020, and operators started operating in late January. The process has been delayed in Washington State, in part because the state wants to renegotiate tribal compacts to include sports betting. Until existing Class III tribal facilities will provide sports wagering, new rules must be enforced.

In a special meeting on Wednesday, the WSGC unanimously adopted the law. The only topic on the agenda was the draft law, which was subject to public comment. Various stakeholders, including prospective owners DraftKings, FanDuel, and William Hill; the Seattle Mariners; and a handful of Washington State Indian tribes, gave feedback or concerns. The bulk of the concerns were academic in nature, and stakeholders were asking for guidance on terms like “substantial interest holder,” “passive investor,” and “services for sports wagering.”

Ivestigating prospective operators

A $5,000 charge is included in the new regulation, and an online application will be available on the WSGC website later this week. The rule’s goal is to collect data so that the WSGC can begin investigating prospective operators and ensuring that “substantial interest holders are initially qualified.” Criminal background checks and an analysis of a company’s financial stability will be part of the audit.

Additional expenditures above $5,000 can be sustained, and the WSGC may require additional funds, according to the law. Applicants will have 30 days to submit further evidence or funding if the commission demands it, but if an additional payment is required, progress on the investigation will be suspended before the payment is obtained.

One-year pre-licensing certification

This investigation will take place before the application process, which will begin after all regulations have been finalised and tribal-state compacts have been reached. A one-year pre-licensing certification would be applicable. Earlier this year, the WSGC announced that new rules would be published in the spring.

There are 29 federally recognised Indian tribes in Washington state, all of which are allowed to provide Class III gaming. There are presently 22 tribes running 29 casinos throughout the state. Despite the fact that no tribes have announced sports betting agreements, all of the big national corporations are expected to seek admission into the territory.