Washington Sports Betting Momentum Hits Setback After Fed Court Decision

Washington Sports Betting Momentum Hits Setback After Fed Court Decision

Washington State casino

The US District Court in Washington rejected a petition to change a law that only permits sports betting in tribal casinos. The court’s decision was based in part on the fact that the tribes had “sovereign immunity.”

According to an article in the Seattle Times, the most recent decision by the federal court was a big setback for people who want to let people bet on sports events all over Washington State.

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Maverick Gaming is a company that owns and runs a number of card rooms in the state of Washington. In January 2022, the company sued state and federal officials, saying that giving Native American tribes exclusive rights to sports betting and other types of gambling is unfair.

Maverick Gaming sent a petition to the district court asking that the state’s law on sports betting in 2020 be ruled unconstitutional and that all sports betting be stopped until new laws can be passed to allow it in places other than tribal casinos.

But the court decided that the lawsuit was a big threat to the interests of Indian tribes that had signed gambling agreements with the state. These compacts were legally binding agreements between the state and the tribes.

One of the tribes, Shoalwater Bay, has filed a motion to join the case, saying that if the complaint is upheld, the tribe’s casino operations would be hurt more than they should be.

The tribe also claimed that it possessed sovereign immunity, which prevented it from being joined in such litigation; this was a contention that the court accepted as valid.

According to the judgment, moving forward with the termination of the tribe’s gaming licenses would put in jeopardy not only the income and agreements of the tribe but also the employment and livelihoods of individuals and businesses that are neither tribal nor non-tribal.

Even though the court agreed that Maverick couldn’t try to change the law on sports betting in any other court, legal precedent says that when a tribe can’t be added to a case because it has “sovereign immunity,” the case should almost always be thrown out. In this case, Maverick could not seek to overturn the law because there was no other judicial forum in which it could do so.

Upholding Tribal Rights to Sports Betting

At a time when the tribes in Washington state need money from gambling to pay for important social programs, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson praised the verdict as a big win for the tribes’ independence and called it a huge success.

The Washington Indian Gaming Association made a case for the benefits of tribal gambling. They said that the money made from gambling in tribal casinos pays for important programs like housing, health care, and education that help communities run themselves. This was done in an effort to promote tribal gambling.

Rebecca George, the Executive Director of the association, praised the decision as a big win in court and proof that Washington’s tribes are working together with state and federal authorities to create a safe, limited, and well-regulated gaming system in the state. The association was pleased with the decision.

The state of Washington has always been known for having some of the strictest anti-gambling regulations in the country; yet, the state’s decision to adopt HB 2638 in March 2020 and grant even tribes-only sports gambling was viewed as a dramatic shift in policy. This includes any type of mobile wagering, which is only permitted on casino grounds. Additionally, a digital geofence security component limits mobile sports betting to only being available to tribal casino groups.

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About Lou De Aguila

Lou Aguila is a news and feature writer for Golden Casino News. For over a decade, Lou has published news and featured articles for some of the most reputable sports betting and online casino sites in the world, including BetNow.UK, VegasOdds, and BWin. Apart from being a hardcore live casino punter, he also covers sports stories in North American leagues from time to time.