Amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the Evergreen State moved to legalise sports betting at tribal casinos the end of March.
Washington governor Jay Inslee signed HB 2638 into law on 25 March, the sports betting bill was approved by the state senate earlier in the month.
The bill will allow wagering at casinos operated by the state’s 29 federally recognised tribes, once the state renegotiates the individual gaming compacts. Like the wider US casino industry, Washington’s tribes have currently shut their gaming operations in order to combat the spread of coronavirus.
The bill contains an emergency clause that eliminated the need to have a statewide referendum on legalising sports betting, which would have required a 60 percent majority for approval.
The clause states the bill is “necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions”.