Sports betting enthusiasts in the coastal region could soon find out if Lady Luck is on their side.
Shoalwater Bay Casino is in the process of adding a sports book and lounge, given that the gaming establishment is zeroing in on final approval for sports betting.
“We’ve started construction on a 400-square-foot sports book/lounge combo,” said Shoalwater Bay Casino General Manager Johnny Winokur. “We’ll have multiple big screen TVs, seating and specials on food items on sports days.”
In 2020, the Washington Legislature approved a bill to authorize sports wagering at certain tribal facilities. To participate, it required the Shoalwater Bay Tribe to apply for a “compact amendment,” which it did.
On June 12, the Washington State Gambling Commission approved the Shoalwater’s application, along with 14 others applications.
“We were approved for a sports book by the Gambling Commission,” said Winokur.
According to the Gambling Commission, all approved compacts will go on to each tribe’s chair — Charlene Nelson is the Shoalwater Bay Tribe Chairwoman — and Gov. Jay Inslee for their signatures.
Once signed by both, each compact amendment will be forwarded to the Secretary of the Department of Interior for review and action. The Department of Interior has 45 days to act once they receive it or it is deemed approved and published in the federal register.
As of Friday, the compacts remain unsigned. But Winokur anticipates no problems moving forward with the casino’s sports betting plans.
“I’m anticipating this going through and we’ll be ready to accept everybody’s football bets on the Seahawks this season,” said Winokur.
The sports betting will be through electronic kiosks. Betting will be in real time on every major league sport, said Winokur, acknowledging Washington has some regulations of its own when it comes to wagering on other levels of competition.
“In the state of Washington you’re not able to bet on (in-state) university sports or the minor league sports, like AAA baseball, but you will be able to bet on the Seahawks, Mariners, Sounders, plus every other major league in the world,” said Winokur.
In other words, no betting on Cougars or Huskies football games, but you can place wagers on out-of-state collegiate sports.
Just what this will mean in terms of revenue remains to be seen.
“It depends on traffic,” said Winokur. “Once it all plays out there’s definitely going to be revenue, but will it be a lot? That’s yet to be determined, but the sports book will be a great amenity for the casino and our guests.”
The casino currently features 291 slot machines and is located at 4112 State Route 105 in Tokeland. You can follow the casino on Facebook at facebook.com/ShoalwaterBay and the casino website at swbcasino.com.