There was some news regarding sports betting bill in Washington on Tuesday. The long battle to get sports betting up and running in the ‘Evergreen State’ has had some movement. The bill known as HB2638 was recommended for the next step in the process by the ‘Labor & Commerce Committee. Now the bill is in the hands of the Senate Ways & Means Committee.
This was not a complete unanimous decision, there was some opposition to the bill raised before the vote was taken. Senator Maureen Walsh wanted to be heard before the vote was started. Walsh said, “I find it very disappointing that we can’t just open this up to the state. I think the state could use the infusion of revenue. I also think what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. I think this is terrible, If the argument is the tribes can do it better I’m not buying it.”The source of contention for this bill is that only Tribal casinos will have the opportunity to offer sports betting.
Lawmakers Urge The Passing Of This Bill The Way It Is Currently Written
Washington lawmakers urging all involved in the process, to pass the bill now ‘as is’ even though it denies the opportunity for the many card rooms in Washington to have sports betting.
The Chairwoman of the committee Karen Kieser, urged her colleagues to support this bill the way, it’s formatted now, ‘to get the ball rolling.’ There are 42 legal card rooms in Washington state, and the owners of those card rooms are not happy about HB2638/ They say they have been part of the Washington economy for quite some time, and to be deprived of this new way to make money is not OK. Kieser said she understands that the card room owners are not happy with the bill and the way it outlines who can profit and who can’t. However she said there needs to be some sort of starting place, or they can never make any headway.
Chairwoman Kieser Said’ She’s Not A Fan Of The Bill’ But It’s A Matter Of Baby Steps Now
Kieser urged her colleagues and others who are part of the sports betting bill process to really think about the ramifications if the bill doesn’t move forward now. Kieser added, “I urge support for this bill. I am not a great fan of either gambling or sports. It seems to me, especially when it comes to gambling, we have a couple of things to deal with. The threat of addiction and the threat of corruption.
I think it’s very wise of us to take a very small first step in moving forward with the ability to have sports gambling.” The end of the Washington legislative session is March 12. Lawmakers say if the sports bill passes before the 12th, it will be the first of a long road of sports betting issues.