The Snoqualmie Casino made history Thursday, Sept. 9, as it became the first place in the state to allow legal sports betting.
Former Seattle Sonic Shawn Kemp placed the first bet at the casino to celebrate the grand opening, in front of a crowd of several hundred spectators.
“The Snoqualmie Tribe is proud that its casino is the first to launch sports wagering in Washington,” Snoqualmie Tribal Chairman Robert de los Angeles said in a press release. “It is with great joy that we celebrate the new football season by launching the closest sportsbook to Seattle’s sports district.”
The opening comes on the same day the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicked-off the NFL season. Currently, sports bettors can place wagers at the sportsbook ticket window or at any of the six kiosks throughout the casino floor. Within weeks of opening, mobile betting will be available within a geo-fence perimeter of the Casino.
The Snoqualmie Casino, alongside eight other tribal casinos, first received approval to begin sports betting on Aug. 31, when the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs approved amendments to the tribe’s gambling compact with the state.
“It is only because of the hard work and collaboration between the Washington State Gambling Commission, the Snoqualmie Gaming Commission and our casino team members that we are able to accomplish this milestone in time for the kick-off of the NFL season,” Stanford Le, CEO and president of the Snoqualmie Casino, said in a press release.
Shortly after the compact amendment, the Snoqualmie Tribe signed a deal with International Game Technology to run its casinos sports betting.
Washington’s sports wagering law, passed in 2020, allows betting on professional, collegiate, international and Olympic sports, as well as e-sports. Bets are not allowed on minor league, high school or youth sports. The law follows the ruling of a 2018 federal supreme court case that struck down a law banning betting only in specific locations, such as Las Vegas.
This report uses information first published in the Everett Herald.