Supersonics legend Shawn Kemp places Washington’s first legal sports bet

As Washington moves to legalize sports betting at tribal casinos, a Seattle sports legend gets things started.

SNOQUALMIE, Wash. — History was made on Thursday afternoon as the first legal sports wager was placed at a Washington state sportsbook in King County. Who was the first person to place a bet, you ask? None other than Seattle Supersonics legend Shawn Kemp.

According to social media posts from the Washington Gambling Commission, Kemp placed the state’s first legal sports bet at the Snoqualmie Casino sportsbook. That historic bet was placed shortly after staff from the Gambling Commission and the Snoqualmie Gaming Commission performed their final analysis of the sportsbook.

Sports betting was recently approved for tribal casinos in time for the NFL season by the U.S. Department of the Interior. This department was formed with the intention of protecting the interests and resources belonging to tribal communities. Some tribes believe the NFL season will be their strongest source of sports betting interest throughout the year.

RELATED: WA tribal casinos get final federal OK for sports betting

There will be plenty of other sporting events to bet on—just not minor league games or games involving a Washington state college or university. The WA Gambling Commission gave the following response to a commenter asking if bettors can place wagers on both college and pro sports:

RELATED: Washington moving forward with plans to allow sports gambling at Northern Quest

The Washington State Gambling Commission gave the green light to approve the tribes’ sports gambling proposals in late July, paving the way for this advancement.

Washington is part of more than two dozen states that have motioned to allow some form of sports wagering in the wake of a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down bans on sports betting outside of select parts of the country like Las Vegas.

And who better to kick legalized sports betting off in Washington state than the Reignman, Shawn Kemp? A six-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA selection, Kemp spent eight seasons in the Pacific Northwest as the star of the Supersonics.

In his heyday, Kemp was one of the sport’s most feared dunkers and interior scorers. His leaping ability, mental fortitude, and unselfish play style helped the Sonics to the 1996 NBA Finals, where Michael Jordan claimed his fourth NBA title.


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