Portlanders looking for a retail sports betting experience don’t have to travel far.
Ilani Casino, within 30 minutes of Portland, held a grand opening ceremony for its new retail Ilani Sportsbook and restaurant, the Stadium Bar & Grill, this month.
The event featured Q&A sessions with NFL stars and leaders of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe.
Kara Fox-LaRose, president and general manager of Ilani Casino, said that being able to offer sports betting at Ilani has been “a long time coming,” and that it was a coordinated effort among the state’s 29 tribes.
“I really found it to be a very collaborative experience, focused on being responsible and making sure we’re keeping people safe.”
In 2020, Gov. Jay Inslee signed the bill allowing for Washington sports betting at tribal casinos and, a year later, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe was one of a number of tribes to receive federal approval.
Oregon sports betting is available through DraftKings Sportsbook via the Oregon Lottery. The only retail sportsbook options in the state are at Oregon casinos.
What to expect at Ilani sportsbook and casino
Ilani Casino Resort, in Ridgefield, WA, offers a plethora of amenities. Visitors can enjoy the more than 100,000 square feet of gaming space with nearly 3,000 slots and 75 gaming tables, and 18 restaurants and bars.
The Ilani sportsbook is the first sports betting operation in Clark County. You can bet inside the Ilani Sportsbook or at one of the many 24-hour kiosks located throughout the casino.
Fox-LaRose said The Stadium’s 68-by-14-foot video wall is “the largest in the region.” While relaxing in one of the many oversized chairs, you can customize your audio experience by listening to your game of choice via the Listen Everywhere app.
As of September, Kambi Group provides sports betting services for Ilani’s sportsbook. The deal enables Ilani, developed by the Cowlitz Tribe and Salishan-Mohegan, to provide a Kambi-powered book to Pacific Northwest sports bettors.
You can build your bet using the Kambi site but must place it at the sportsbook counter or kiosk. Kambi clients include DraftKings, BetRivers and Penn National.
Washington sportsbook grand opening highlights
Washington State University alum Drew Bledsoe and NFL Hall of Fame offensive tackle Seahawk Walter Jones were present at the Ilani grand opening ceremony. Jones posed for photos with fans and answered questions. Jones said:
“I’m looking forward to coming back and enjoying it. I’m definitely going to go home and tell my friends about it and make a weekend out of it.”
Cowlitz Indian Tribe leadership was present at the grand opening, which included general council chair Patty Kinswa-Gaiser. Kinswa-Gaiser noted the revenues from the betting will help fund programs for tribal members and will aid the tribe’s continual community support.
Kinswa-Gaiser, who has been a Seahawks fan since the 1970s, acknowledged the effort to get the sportsbook running:
“It’s taken a lot of work for this Ilani team to get this done.”
Sports betting had a soft launch in late October to make sure Ilani’s systems were ready to handle the betting.
How Washington sports betting works
In order to sports bet in Washington state, you must wager at a casino’s sportsbook counter or at a sports betting kiosk. Washington law allows for online sports betting but only when bets are placed and accepted at a tribal casino, while the customer is physically present.