Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Feb. 7, 2023

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ilani opens first sports betting facility in Clark County

Stadium fare, video wall, smartphone integration among casino’s attractions

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:
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ilani is now home to the only sports betting facility in Clark County. Washington law allows for online sports betting but only when bets are placed and accepted at a tribal casino while the wager-placing customer is physically there.
ilani is now home to the only sports betting facility in Clark County. Washington law allows for online sports betting but only when bets are placed and accepted at a tribal casino while the wager-placing customer is physically there. (Photo contributed by Finn Partners) Photo Gallery

COWLITZ INDIAN RESERVATION — With the recent opening of its sportsbook, ilani has become the first sports betting facility in Clark County.

Patrons wanting to make bets can do so at the casino’s Sportsbook Counter, which is open daily, or at one of ilani’s 24-hour kiosks, which are next to The Stadium Sports Bar & Grill and throughout the casino floor. They can also build their bet online before placing it at one of the sports betting kiosks.

Washington law allows for online sports betting but only when bets are placed and accepted at a tribal casino while the wager-placing customer is physically there. At ilani, people cannot place bets on their mobile phones — only at kiosks.

Kara Fox-LaRose, president and general manager of ilani, said her team saw a lot of anticipation and enthusiasm for sports betting. She added that they’re excited to unveil the new amenity to meet casinogoers’ varied interests.

Besides becoming the first sports betting facility in the county, ilani also recently opened The Stadium Sports Bar & Grill with its adjoining Betting Lounge. The restaurant serves up what it calls elevated stadium fare, including items like onion rings, wings, baby back ribs and burgers.

The casino says The Stadium Sports Bar & Grill has the region’s largest video wall integrated with the Listen Everywhere app, allowing guests to listen to games on their smartphones.

Washington legalized sports betting at tribal casinos in March 2020. Tribes then began amending their compact agreements with the state to incorporate the sports wagering industry. The Tulalip Tribes reached a deal with the state to bring mobile sports betting in April 2021. The Suquamish, Kalispel and Snoqualmie tribes soon followed suit, incorporating betting through their casinos.

The Snoqualmie Casino near Seattle was the first facility to open its retail sportsbook. The state now has eight additional compacts that allow sports wagering with the Cowlitz, Lummi, Puyallup, Spokane, Squaxin, Stillaguamish, Suquamish and Tulalip tribes, according to Gaming Today.

Before 2018, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act prevented states from legalizing commercial sports betting. Only Nevada was exempt because it housed the industry for decades before it became illegal in 1992. In May 2018, however, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the act, allowing states to decide whether they wanted to legalize sports betting. Now, more than half of states have legalized it, 21 of which allow online betting.

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