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Volume 26 No. 4

Gambling

Washington state legislators are set to "hold hearings this week on a bill that could legalize some sports gambling" after "decades of it being banned," according to Geoff Baker of the SEATTLE TIMES. The bill "calls for professional and college sports wagering to be legalized within tribal gaming facilities," as well as for the "legalization of online sports gaming within those same tribal facilities." That would "represent a significant shift for the nation’s only state where any form of internet gambling is currently a Class C felony." Washington State Gambling CommissionerChris Stearns predicts that the bill, if approved, "could pave the way to wider-spread sports gambling." But for now, the bill proposes to "limit all sports gambling within the physical confines of the tribal casinos," consistent with the state’s "long-held policy of outlawing gambling 'except where carefully and specifically authorized and regulated.'" Only 11 states have "yet to introduce any new sports-betting legislation." But mobile betting has "generated far more debate nationwide, with states slower to allow full-fledged versions of it." Mobile is "viewed as the fastest-growing sector within sports gambling" (SEATTLE TIMES, 2/12).

KENO SPEAKERS: In Boston, Taylor Pettaway noted a local group of advocates and business owners is "pushing to allow sports betting in keno parlors licensed by the lottery." Fair Play Massachusetts has "organized to build support for the idea" and believes it would "benefit small business and the state." Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker last month "introduced legislation to legalize sports betting." Supporters of Fair Play Massachusetts said that the group is "not opposed to casinos having sports betting, they just don’t want them to be able to monopolize it" (BOSTON HERALD, 2/11).