After the state Senate Labor & Commerce Committee on Monday heard and passed House Bill 2638, which would legalize and regulate some sports betting in tribal facilities, committee chair Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, released the following statement:
“I myself am not a great fan of either sports or betting,” said Keiser, whose 33rd District includes parts of Kent. “Gambling brings with it the threat of addiction and corruption. That’s why it’s wise for our state to take a very small first step and to work with our trusted partners who have shown their ability to contain the problem of addiction and thwart the threat of corruption.
“This limited first step toward allowing sports betting in Washington will begin to combat the illegal betting that is already going on. Just as with cannabis in 2012, we are taking a careful step to bring sports betting aboveboard, where it can be tightly regulated to reduce harm.”
The House passed the bill 83-14 on Feb. 13. The full Senate will now consider the measure that will allow betting at tribal casinos.
According to the bill, sports wagering is defined as the business of accepting wagers on any of the following sporting events, athletic events, or competitions:
• A professional sport or athletic event
• A collegiate sport or athletic event
• An Olympic or international sports competition or event
• An electronic sports or esports competition or event
• A combination of the above sporting events, athletic events, or competitions
• A portion of any of the above sporting events, athletic events, or competitions.