Washington Gambling Sites - A Guide to Gambling In Washington
Washington gambling laws allow casinos, horse racing, a state lottery, and most other forms of gaming.
But they're strict when it comes to gambling online.
In addition to discussing Washington's online gambling laws, we'll also cover offshore gaming sites, land-based gambling laws in Washington, where to gamble in Washington, Washington's gambling history and the future of gambling in Washington
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Online Gambling and Washington Law
Is Online Gambling Legal in Washington?
No, online gambling is not legal in Washington. The Washington Revised Code strictly prohibits the transmission of gambling information over the internet. This law applies to both players and operators.
Washington is one of the few states with specific laws on the books about online gambling.
Here's what the Washington State Gambling Commission website says about internet gambling:
"The Washington State Constitution (Article II Section 24) prohibits all gambling activities unless the activity is specifically authorized in State law. Internet gambling has never been authorized and is illegal in Washington State.
To further clarify this, in 2006, the Washington State Legislature amended RCW 9.46.240 to affirmatively state that Internet gambling is illegal in Washington State.
The penalty for transmitting gambling information was also increased from a gross misdemeanor to a class C felony.
It is illegal to:
- Operate an Internet gambling site.
- Gamble on the Internet.
- Install or maintain equipment to send or receive gambling information.
- Facilitate Internet gambling in any way."
Can I Get Arrested for Gambling Online in Washington?
Yes, you can get arrested for gambling online in Washington. It's a felony to gamble online in Washington, which seems like a strict penalty when compared to many other states, where it's usually a misdemeanor.
But we couldn't find record of any individual who has been arrested for gambling online in Washington.
Law enforcement in Washington doesn't have much interested in pursuing individual online gamblers; they're interested in residents who are running illegal casinos online and on land.
Is Washington Going to Legalize Online Gaming?
It's safe to say that since Washington went to the length of specifically prohibiting online gambling and making it a felony, they most likely won't legalize online gambling.
Although Washington gambling sites could bring revenue into the state, it seems that Washington is set on outlawing all forms of online gambling.
It's possible that with some political changes and a push from the current casinos, online gambling could come to Washington, but it would be a long time before we saw any change.
How Do I Choose a Good Online Gaming Site?
Our best advice to all our readers is to follow the laws in your state. But if you're going to risk it, you can find Washington gambling sites operating in other countries. These are companies who don't mind skirting the legal situation in the state.
If you decide to play at one of these sites, you need to take appropriate steps to find one that's legitimate.
Choosing a good online gaming site can be easy if you know what to look for.
- Deposit Options
Check the deposit options available on the site. If you don't feel comfortable using the deposit options available, look for a different site. Also check the withdrawal options.
- Game Variety
Look into the all the games that the site offers. You want to make sure there's enough content to keep you entertained.
- Read Reviews
Read reviews from current or past members of the site. Reading reviews can be the most crucial part of your research because it gives you the best idea of what you can expect from the website.
- Talk to Customer Service
Email, call, or live chat with the customer service team of the website you're considering. You don't have to have a real question; just come up with anything. The point of contacting the customer service department is to see how professional and quick they are.
- Read the Small Print
Read the fine print on the sign-up promotions. Some promotions seem too good to be true, and they usually are. Reading the fine print about the promotion tells you how much you have to wager or how long you have to be a member before you get the promotional value.
Are Offshore Gambling Sites Safe?
Checking how long a site has been in business and reviewing their licenses can let you know if a site is safe.
For any business to stay open, they have to have customers. Check how long the site has been in business and it will give you a good idea about if they have loyal customers that are happy with the site. A site that has been open 10 years has more loyal customers and more reviews than a site that has been open 10 months.
Offshore gambling sites have different restrictions and regulations when getting their license than businesses in the U.S. do. Read into the details of the regulations they have to follow to learn about the fees and restrictions the site might have.
Are Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in Washington?
No, daily fantasy sports are illegal in Washington.
Here's what the Washington State Gambling Commission Spots Wagering page says about it:
"In 1973, when the Gambling Act was first passed 100 square sports pool boards were authorized. We believe these boards were popular at the time and that's why they were specifically authorized. We understand the NCAA basketball "Final Four" tournament and the bracket pools often associated with the tournament increased in popularity after 1979 when ESPN aired on television. However, bracket pools, office sports pools, and fantasy sports have never been authorized as gambling activities in Washington State and are illegal."
Breaking down what exactly is or isn't legal in Washington. Gambling Venues in Washington
Where to gamble in the state of Washington. The History of Gaming Laws in Washington
A brief history of Washington laws regarding gambling. The Furture of Gambling in Washington
What does the future of gambling look like in Washington?
More Gambling Laws in Washington
The Washington Revised Code defines gambling as:
"staking or risking something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under the person's control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that the person or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome. Gambling does not include fishing derbies as defined by this chapter, parimutuel betting and handicapping contests"
Casino Games: Legal
Casinos can be found throughout Washington. Most casinos in Washington are tribal casinos.
Tribal casinos are authorized for class three games, so you can find your favorite casino games, including craps, poker, blackjack, and roulette, at these casinos.
Here's a list of the authorized card games that card rooms in these casinos can offer:
Sports and Race Betting: Parimutuel Only
Parimutuel, or pool betting, is legal in Washington.
Here's what the Washington State Gambling Commission Sports Wagering page says:
"Both businesses and individuals may offer 100 square sports pool boards. Strict rules must be followed when offering them (RCW 9.46.0335).
- Each business or individual may offer only one board on any single athletic event.
- The board must be divided into 100 squares.
- You may charge up to one dollar per square. Each player must be charged the same entry fee (up to one dollar per square).
- Each player picks a square and their name is written in the square.
- Numbers representing game scores are randomly assigned to each square.
You should develop and post house rules for how the sports pool board will be operated. For example, a deadline for collecting prize money, winner identification, requirements for someone other than a winner collecting a prize, what will happen if there is a tie, and how money will be distributed if a winning square is not sold.
The sports pool board must be available for inspection by anyone purchasing a square, Gambling Commission agents, and other law enforcement representatives.
These limitations apply to all sporting events equally (Super Bowl, Final Four, etc.).
It is illegal to have a sports pool board where you:
- Have more than one board per athletic event;
- Offer anything other than 100 squares;
- or Charge more than one dollar per square.
The 100 square sports pool board is the only sports wagering authorized in Washington State law."
Greyhound racing is illegal in Washington. Here's what the Washington Revised Code says about greyhound racing:
"A person may not hold, conduct, or operate live greyhound racing for public exhibition, parimutuel betting, or special exhibition events, if such activities are conducted for gambling purposes. A person may not transmit or receive intrastate or interstate simulcasting of greyhound racing for commercial, parimutuel, or exhibition purposes, if such activities are conducted for gambling purposes.
A person who violates this section is guilty of a class B felony, under RCW 9.46.220, professional gambling in the first degree, and is subject to the penalty under RCW 9A.20.021"
Washington has a state-regulated lottery.
Here's what the Washington state lottery website says:
"In addition to Washington's Lottery players who took home $432.9 million last year, the Lottery helps fund and support people and communities all over the state. From the student who receives a college grant, to the convenience store owner supporting his family, to the CenturyLink Stadium employee, Washington's Lottery continues to contribute to the well-being of others with its proceeds."
The Washington state lottery revenue goes toward:
- Winners 61.6%
- WOPA Education 18.3%
- Cost of Sales 6.3%
- Retailers 5.1%
- Stadium & Exhibition Center 1.7%
- General Fund 4.5%
- Administration 2.1%
- Economic Development 0.4%
- And problem gambling
Washington state lottery games include:
- Power Ball
- Mega Millions
- Hit 5
- Match 4
- Daily Game
- Daily Keno
- And scratch off cards
Bingo: Charitable Games Only
Social card games, dice games, bingo, raffles, and more are all legal for charitable and nonprofit organizations to run in Washington.
Here's what the Washington charitable gaming laws say about charitable and nonprofit organization gambling activities:
"The legislature hereby authorizes bona fide charitable or nonprofit organizations to conduct bingo games, raffles, amusement games, and fund raising events, and to utilize punch boards and pull-tabs and to allow their premises and facilities to be used by only members, their guests, and members of a chapter or unit organized under the same state, regional, or national charter or constitution, to play social card games authorized by the commission, when licensed, conducted or operated pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto."
Social card games, punch boards, and pull tab games are also legal at restaurants. Here's what the Washington charitable gaming laws say about it:
"The legislature hereby authorizes any person, association or organization operating an established business primarily engaged in the selling of food or drink for consumption on the premises to conduct social card games and to utilize punch boards and pull-tabs as a commercial stimulant to such business when licensed and utilized or operated pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto."
Social gambling: Illegal With Exceptions
Washington gambling laws are based off three elements, which are a prize, wagering, and chance. In order for it to be gambling, all three elements have to be present, and if one of them is missing, it's not considered gambling.
Washington residents can play any casino game in their home, as long as it's missing one of the three elements of gambling.
Gambling Venues in Washington
Here's a list of the tribal casinos located in Washington:
1 - Lucky Eagle Casino
12888 188th Ave SW,
Rochester, WA 98579
2 - Coulee Dam Casino
515 Birch Street,
Coulee Dam, WA 99116
3 - Mill Bay Casino
455 E. Wapato Lake Road,
Manson, WA 98831
4 - 12 Tribes Resort Casino
28968 Highway 97,
Omak, WA 98841
5 - Ilani Casino Resort
1 Cowlitz Way,
Ridgefield, WA 98642
6 - 7 Cedars Casino
270756 Hwy 101,
Sequim, WA 98382
7 - Northern Quest Casino
100 N. Hayford Road,
Airway Heights, WA 99001
8 - Silver Reef Casino
4876 Haxton Way,
Ferndale, WA 98428
9 - Muckleshoot Casino
2402 Auburn Way S.,
Auburn, WA 98002
10 - Muckleshoot Bingo
2117 Auburn Way S,
Auburn, WA 98002
11 - Red Wind Casino
12819 Yelm Hwy SE,
Olympia, WA 98513
12 - The Point Casino
7989 Salish Lane NE,
Kingston, WA 98346
13 - Emerald Queen Casino at I-5
2024 E. 29th St.,
Tacoma, WA 98404
14 - EQC at FIFE
5700 Pacific Highway E,
Fife, WA 98424
15 - Quinault Beach Resort & Casino
78 State Route 115,
Ocean Shores, WA 98569
16 - Lucky Dog Casino
Skokomish, WA 98584
17 - Snoqualmie Casino
37500 SE North Bend Way,
Snoqualmie, WA 98065
18 - Chewelah Casino
Chewela, WA 99109
19 - Two Rivers Casino
6828-B Highway 25 South,
Davenport, WA 99122
20 - Litle Creek Casino Resort
91 West State Route 108,
Shelton, WA 98584
21 - Angel of the Winds Casino
3438 Stoluckaguamish Lane,
Arlington, WA 98223
22 - Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort
15347 Suquamish Way NE,
Suquamish, WA 98392
23 - Suquamish Casino and Lodge
12885 Casino Drive,
Anacortes, WA 98221
24 - Tulalip Resort Casino
10200 Quil Ceda Blvd,
Tulalip, WA 98270
25 - Skagit Valley Casino
5984 N. Dark Lane,
Bow, WA 98232
26 - Yakama Legends Casino
580 E. Fort Road,
Toppenish, WA 98948
History of Gambling in Washington
Washington legalized pari-mutuel wagering on horse races.
Washington Signs it's first compact with a native tribe to open casinos.
Card rooms that offer non banked games are legalized outside of tribal lands.
A bill is put forward to regulate intra state poker in Washington but it doesn't make it far before it's rejected.
The Gambling Commission oversees charity gambling including bingo, pull tabs, raffles, and casio nights.
The Washington state lottery is legalized.
Internet gambling is made a felony for both players and operators.
The poker Players Alliance goes to the Supreme Court to question the Internet gambling ban, but fails with the Supreme Court choosing to back the state.
Washington Gambling Future
Washington has legalized plenty of gambling, including casinos, social gambling, charitable gambling, a lottery, and parimutuel horse racing.
But Washington gambling sites seem to be out of the question.
Since Washington has strictly prohibited daily fantasy sports online and made gambling online a felony for both players and operators, it's unlikely Washington will ever have a state-regulated gambling site.