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Sports Wagering Pre-Licensing Investigation

What is a Sports Wagering Pre-Licensing Investigation?

A pre-licensing investigation includes, but is not limited to, identification of an organization and its structure; a criminal history background investigation of all substantial interest holders; and verification that cash, goods, and/or services for the startup of operations or the continuation of business are from a qualified source. This investigation is standard for obtaining any type of gambling license and takes an average of 60-90 days to complete.

Who should apply for a Sports Wagering Pre-Licensing Investigation?

The Commission has passed a new pre-licensing investigation rule that authorizes agency staff to accept applications from potential sports wagering licensees to enter into the agency's standard pre-licensing investigation process before final licensing rules are agreed upon and become final.

This investigation will be required to obtain any future sports wagering license. Therefore, we recommend that most companies licensed in other states where they provide sportsbook services and/or equipment consider applying for a pre-licensing investigation. By applying now, organizations can get a head start on the pre-licensing investigation process in anticipation of final licensing rules which will be finalized later this year, once tribal compact negotiations are complete.

You are encouraged to contact us if there is any question whether this process is right for your organization and we will provide the best direction we can about its potential value.

Do I or my company need to have an agreement with a Federally recognized Tribe in Washington State before I apply?

No. Neither Commission rules nor state law require a company providing sports wagering services or equipment to have a vendor agreement with a Washington State Tribe or tribal operator before submitting a pre-licensing investigation application. Additionally, a company that provides sports wagering services or equipment to a sportsbook vendor can submit a pre-licensing investigation application even if their sportsbook vendor(s) has yet to reach an agreement with a Washington State Tribe or tribal operator.

Who in my company can submit the Sports Wagering Pre-Licensing Investigation application?

The highest-ranking officer in your organization must complete an attestation in the online application that says the application is true, correct, and complete. Failure to do so will result in your application being incomplete and a delay in the processing of your application. 

Will fingerprints need to be submitted as part of the pre-licensing investigation process?

Yes, fingerprints will be required as part of the process for those who can submit. If there are COVID-19 restrictions preventing the submission of fingerprint cards during the pre-licensing process, then this will be something that will likely need to be addressed when submitting a license application once final rules are in place. 

What types of payment methods are accepted by the Commission? 

Payments can be submitted online through an ACH debit process (electronic check) or paper checks can be sent through the mail. Unfortunately, at this time, the Commission does not accept ACH credit or credit card payments. Lastly, payment must be made in US currency.

Where can I apply to begin the Sports Wagering Pre-Licensing Investigation process?

Applications must be submitted online and you must have a SecureAccess Washington SAW account with WSGC's My Account services to submit your application. The instructions below outline how to set up these services and apply.

Final action on any application cannot be taken until on or after March 29, 2021, and no investigation will be completed, and no final determination made, regarding a pre-licensing investigation until after these rules go into effect on March 29, 2021.

Instructions

I need help registering for a SecureAccess Washington (SAW) account.

  • Click here to register for a new SecureAccess Washington (SAW) account. Click "Sign Up" and follow the steps to create a new account. Refer to this video for additional assistance.

I need help adding WSGC MYAccount services in SAW.

  • Log into your SAW account. Add WSGC SAW MyAccount as a New Service. Refer to these instructions and/or video for additional assistance. 

I’m ready to apply for a Sports Wagering Pre-Licensing Investigation.

If you have successfully completed the SAW registration process AND added our service to your account, log into your WSGC MyAccount through Secure Access Washington (SAW)

  1. Select the License tab from the top menu.
  2. Select “Sports Wagering Pre-Licensing Investigation Application.”
  3. Complete all fields in the WSGC application.
  4. Select either “Pay This Amount Now with Online Check” or “Submit Application and Pay with a Paper Check.”
    • A $5,000 deposit must be submitted with a completed application.
    • You can either submit the application electronically with an online check or submit the application electronically and then mail us a paper check.
    • We will begin processing applications once we receive full payment.  If full payment is not received within 30 days after submitting your application, we will administratively close your application and you will need to re-apply.
  5. If you chose “Submit Application and Pay with a Paper Check”, you must print and mail the invoice and your check to us, which will delay processing your application.
  6. We will contact you within 10 business days after receiving your application and deposit of additional information needed to complete your pre-licensing investigation. 
  7. Call us at 800-345-2529 ext. 2334 or 360-486-3440 ext. 2334 with questions.