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Capital One Arena’s Sportsbook Debut Has Washington Residents Wanting More

The Snoqualmie Tribe in Washington became the first in the country to open sports betting at the Capital One Arena in September, but the state legislature is still lagging when it comes to online gambling.

Author:Dexter Cooke
Reviewer:Hajra Shannon
Mar 07, 2022
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The Snoqualmie Tribe in Washington became the first in the country to open sports betting at the Capital One Arena in September, but the state legislature is still lagging when it comes to online gambling. A recent bill to legalize online casinos and digital sportsbooks was shot down by the governor, but these new brick-and-mortar sportsbooks are determined to change the local government’s opinion on gambling.
When the arena’s sportsbook first opened, it had many residents in Washington State wondering - is online sports betting legal?Unfortunately, for now, the law only extends to in-person sports betting, which is now open from 10am to midnight and has 17 kiosks ready for fans. Sports to bet on include college and pro football, basketball, boxing, baseball, golf, soccer, motorsports, tennis, mixed martial arts and hockey. Collegiate level sports and minor teams are not included.
In a post-pandemic economy, many states are looking for something that will add tax revenue and jobs, which has led several states to legalize or expand their sports betting laws, along with online casino permissions.
For example, Wyoming, though it is the country’s least populous state, has gone above and beyond to draw people to online sports betting, rather than in-person like Washington Wyoming not only has a comprehensive system that allows patrons to place bets on dozens of sports from around the state, but has moved ahead to allow cryptocurrency bets, which is the future of the online gambling market. Connecticut has also gone ahead with a soft launchof websites allowing digital and mobile sportsbooks and casino betting within the last month.
However, legislators in Washington still aren’t sure. For one, it’s a state with a large tribal population and gambling has long been since limited to tribal lands, and groups that have relied on the casino’s power to bring money to those areas are reluctant to give that up, as they’d be losing customers to large casino brands, many of which aren’t even based in the U.S.
In March 2020, Washington passed HB2638, which would allow sports betting to take place in casinos, which came as a surprise as this state has, historically, some of the strictest anti-sports gambling laws. In 2006, Washington made it a class C felony to gamble online, and although they don’t ever prosecute players, it is still a risk many citizens are unwilling to take. Many do break laws to gamble and place sports bets online, but most legit websites don’t accept players from states where digital gambling has been outlawed.
Washington’s sports betting facility in Capital One Arena is provided by William Hill, one of the biggest names in sports betting. Other states have tried similar outlets, but no other laws are quite the same as Washington’s. In New Jersey, some stadiums are equipped with “lounge areas” where sports betting enthusiasts can watch large screens with various odds and betting types, yet cannot place a sports bet from inside the arena, only from online.
As many more states move to legalize gambling in one form or another, it may take years before all states are on the same page. Each state's economy is so different, and with mounting pressure from indigenous groups and lands, many states are running into roadblocks during the process of legalizing online gambling.
Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke

Author
Dexter Cooke is an economist, marketing strategist, and orthopedic surgeon with over 20 years of experience crafting compelling narratives that resonate worldwide. He holds a Journalism degree from Columbia University, an Economics background from Yale University, and a medical degree with a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dexter’s insights into media, economics, and marketing shine through his prolific contributions to respected publications and advisory roles for influential organizations. As an orthopedic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive knee replacement surgery and laparoscopic procedures, Dexter prioritizes patient care above all. Outside his professional pursuits, Dexter enjoys collecting vintage watches, studying ancient civilizations, learning about astronomy, and participating in charity runs.
Hajra Shannon

Hajra Shannon

Reviewer
Hajra Shannona is a highly experienced journalist with over 9 years of expertise in news writing, investigative reporting, and political analysis. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Columbia University and has contributed to reputable publications focusing on global affairs, human rights, and environmental sustainability. Hajra's authoritative voice and trustworthy reporting reflect her commitment to delivering insightful news content. Beyond journalism, she enjoys exploring new cultures through travel and pursuing outdoor photography
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