The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, owner of 7 Cedars Hotel & Casino in Sequim, Washington is expected to open their sportsbook by August 1st, just in time for the NFL exhibition season.
Cedars Sports Ready for Business
By the time 7 Cedars opens its doors to their brand-new sportsbook, the hotel they recently built will still be a few days shy of its two-year anniversary. Speaking of which, the S’Klallam Tribe sunk approximately $40 million for the 100-room hotel that includes over 750 pieces of art located in the common areas as well as the rooms themselves.
But the amenities and creature comforts of the hotel are ancillary pieces to the gaming facility which boasts 600 slots and 180 different titles along with table games and tournaments. And the innovative team at the Sequim, Washington hotel and casino constantly strives to improve the gaming experience of its customers which has resulted in a state-of-the-art sportsbook that is expected to go live on August 1st of this year.
Mobile Betting Limited in Washington
Unlike virtually all of the other tribes in Washington state that have a vested interest in sports betting, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe wants mobile betting to be expanded rather than limited to the grounds of the casino.
Many tribes are concerned that mobile betting anywhere within the state will keep people away from the casino and decrease business. However, that is a notion that has been dispelled time and time again according to Vic Salerno, the founder of US Betting.
“All of the tribal casinos really want retail. They don’t want mobile,” he said. “There’s still that fear that if you have mobile, that will keep people away from their casinos. We had the problem when we introduced mobile wagering in Las Vegas. Places like the South Point didn’t want to put on mobile. I explained to them that when it comes to in-game and halftime wagering, I’m not going to get off my ass and come to your casino. What they found is it really increased the retail business along with the mobile business.”
Jerry Allen, the CEO of 7 Cedars Casino, agrees wholeheartedly with Salerno and said, “I’m a believer that it just helps build your product. Because the margins are what they are in sports betting, if [bettors are] sitting at home and I get five times the revenue out of it, that’s better for me. There are others in the state that don’t want to believe it’s gonna be a benefit to go to mobile. They think [sports betting is] a driver to their retail or brick-and-mortar.”
Allen, whose brother Ron is one of the longest-serving tribal leaders in the nation, is a black sheep among his Native American colleagues. “Everybody thought we were gonna turn poker players into slot and blackjack players. They didn’t do that much at all,” he said.
“The sports guy is a sports guy. He’d rather go in there and put 20 bucks on a six-leg parlay and go home and have some fun and watch it. Or sit in a book and watch it. That’s their space. That’s their VFW Club. Having been to a lot of sportsbooks myself, they’re just community centers.”
But despite Allen’s forward-thinking approach, the majority rules and so it is that mobile wagering will be confined to those areas of the casino floor or kiosks located nearby. Moreover, there will be no wagering on college teams that reside within the state like Gonzaga, Washington, or Washington State.