New Washington State Sportsbook Plans to Open for 2022 NFL Season

Heading into April, expansion plans throughout the legal US sports betting industry tend to hinge on the next football season. States working through the legislative and regulatory process earmark early September as a potential launch. US sportsbook operators are also mindful of that time frame in their expansion plans.

Most of the legal sports betting handle in the US market is booked through mobile sportsbook app. However, retail sports betting through land-based sportsbooks is a growing trend in a number of states.

In the absence of legal online sports betting in the state of Washington, the retail sector is expanding at an accelerated pace through in-state tribal casinos.

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7 Cedars Casino’s New Sportsbook

Washington’s Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe has announced plans to open a retail sportsbook at 7 Cedars Hotel and Casino. The goal is to up and running by Aug. 1 to build momentum for the start of the new NFL season.

Betting on in-state college teams such as Washington or Washington State is prohibited. Although, retail sportsbooks can book bets on out-of-state college games.

The tribe is looking to close on a deal with a sportsbook operator. The long-term contract will be with a publicly-traded sports betting company. Jerry Allen is the CEO of 7 Cedars Hotel and Casino. He previously mentioned the mid-April time frame to have a deal in place.

The venue plans to use space that previously housed the 7 Cedars Rainforest Bar for the sportsbook. This space also includes an adjacent entertainment stage. The estimated cost of this project has been set at $800,000.

The Cedar Sports retail sportsbook will feature a pair of TV screens in excess for 21 feet long. There will be six sports betting kiosks placed throughout the casino and hotel in addition to this primary sportsbook location.

Former casino manager Bill Matsko has been picked to fill the position of sportsbook manager at Cedar Sports.

In reference to the Aug. 1 target date to open Cedar Sports, Allen added:

“The NFL is the kingpin. It wears the crown, so to speak. We’ve ordered sportsbook-style theater seating as a complement to the stage area.”

Washington State Retail Sportsbook Expansion

To date, Washington Governor Jay Inslee has approved amended gaming compacts for 19 in-state tribes. He first signed House Bill 2638 into law legalizing sports betting in March of 2020.

Many of the 19 tribes that have received federal approval on their amended compacts have launched retail sports betting in their land-based casino venues. There are actually 29 federally recognized Native American tribes located in Washington.

The Snoqualmie Casino led the way with the first retail sportsbook in the state. This book made its debut last September in advance of 2021 NFL regular season. In December, the casino launched Washington’s first mobile sportsbook app. However, legal mobile betting is only available on casino gaming property.

A few of the other retail sportsbooks in the state are located in the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Angel of the Winds Casino Resort in Arlington and Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton. All told, there are nine in-state tribal casinos offering a retail sportsbook.

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