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  • Land Based Gambling

    Live Dealer Games
    Casino
    Regulated Since: 1992
    Gambling Age: 18
    Live Dealer Games
    Sports Betting
    Live Dealer Games
    Poker
    Regulated Since: 1997
    Gambling Age: 18
    Live Dealer Games
    Bingo
    Regulated Since: 1963
    Gambling Age: 18
    Live Dealer Games
    Lottery
    Regulated Since: 1982
    Gambling Age: 18
    Live Dealer Games
    Horse Racing
    Regulated Since: 1933
    Gambling Age: 18
    Live Dealer Games
    Dog Racing

    Online Gambling

    Live Dealer Games
    Online Casino
    Live Dealer Games
    Online Sports Betting
    Live Dealer Games
    Online Poker
    Live Dealer Games
    Online Bingo
    Live Dealer Games
    eSports Betting
    Live Dealer Games
    DFS

    Overview

    Gambling within Washington DC is an interesting experience. The state is considered to be one of the more liberal within the United States with more than 60 land-based casinos available to enjoy. Starting in 1933, horseracing was the first form of gambling regulated in the state and it quickly grew to be widely enjoyed by many.

    Thirty years after horseracing was legalised, Bingo was allowed to operate within Washington. Doors continued to open for different forms of gambling as the years went by, including Indian land-based casinos which received the go-ahead in 1992.

    Now, many years later, gambling generates approximately $3 billion in revenue every year! More than 70% of this revenue is generated by the tribal casinos found in the reservations.

    A Boost to the Economy

    A massive boost to the economy, gambling establishments have fought for the liberties they have in the state. 
    In fact, Washington was one of the first states to allow online gambling but this decision was quickly reversed about a year later. The battle for online gambling is one that, unfortunately, has not yet been won.

    Gambling in many different forms can be enjoyed within the states including charitable games, lottery, bingo, card clubs, and more.
    As mentioned before, online gambling is not welcome within Washington and those who are caught partaking in online betting can find themselves in jail. 

    The law states that “whoever knowingly transmits or receives gambling information by telephone, telegraph, radio, semaphore, the internet, a telecommunications transmission system, or similar means, or knowingly installs or maintains equipment for the transmission or receipt of gambling information shall be guilty of a class C felony subject to the penalty set forth in RCW 9A.20.021.”
    This means that being caught partaking in any form online gambling, even unwittingly, puts you in danger of being brought before the law.

    It should also be noted that even in regulated land-based casinos, slots machines and video poker machines are not permitted in any more. When visiting any of the very popular tribal casinos, you'll find lottery terminals which look similar to video slot machines.

    All in all, Washington's specific set of gambling laws are in place to allow fun for gamblers without overstepping any boundaries they've put in place.


    Regulation

    One word that is often used when describing the laws in Washington is 'unique'. This is due to the many widely accepted forms of gambling that can be found within the state but online gambling is shunned.

    Before gambling was welcomed into Washington, it was outlawed as a way to keep the many politicians that lived in the area away from "sinful vices". Thankfully, the times have changed and while gambling is still a misunderstood pass time, players in Washington DC can find many different fun forms available.

    Legal Forms of Gambling

    Legal forms of gambling within Washington include lotteries that have been authorised by the Washington State Gambling Commission, as well as card games, bingo, amusement games, pull-tabs, punchboards, raffles and fundraising events.

    Land-based casinos that are found within tribal reservations are a large part of the revenue that comes in from gambling activities. They are some of the top gambling sites in Washington and they provide millions in revenue to the state each year.

    In order to ensure that all gambling activities are above board, the Washington State Gambling Commission conducts audits, on-site spot checks and they even put together undercover investigations.

    From time to time, the commission will also enforce laws for gambling activities that don't require a license to be held. These include sports pool boards and small raffles held by businesses or charities.

    Specific Laws

    The laws put in place by the Washington State Gambling Commission are very specific in certain regards. For instance, there are laws pertaining to which card games can be promoted at tribal casinos. While certain poker games are permitted, others are not. And each game of blackjack or baccarat is permitted (or not) on a per-game basis.

    Rigorous restrictions such as these are an interesting indicator as to whether to not online gambling will ever be allowed in Washington again. After allowing it for a short amount of time many years ago, potential online casino customers were told that it would be reconsidered but this has never taken place.

    For now, Washington gamblers can enjoy a number of tribal casinos, lotteries, bingo, card clubs, and horse racing. It should be noted that horse racing can be enjoyed in a conventional manner as well as online - the only for online gambling allowed in any regard.

    Licensing

    Applying for a gambling license to operate any form of gambling in Washington DC will require a criminal and financial background check. These investigations are done by the Washington State Gambling Commission and they will determine whether the applicant is able to hold a gambling license within the state or not.

    A thorough investigation can be expected as the WSGC has high standards to uphold. A typical background check can take between 60 and 90 days to complete.

    These checks have been put in place to determine, among other things, where the funds originate from that will be used to fund the gambling business. Background checks can involve the local police, as well as state, federal, national and international authorities if the Special Agent assigned feels it's necessary.

    This alone should tell you that the Washington State Gambling Commission pulls no punches and takes the matter of safe gambling seriously.

    Regulated activities that can receive a license include tribal land-based casinos found in Indian reservations, card games, bingo, amusement games, pull-tabs, punchboards, raffles and fundraising events.

    However, there are many restricted forms of gambling strictly forbidden within Washington too.

    Once again, the WSGC is serious about eradicating illegal gambling practices. According to their website "conducting illegal gambling activities may result in criminal charges being filed against you, your organization and/or its officers, and forfeiture of all property or money associated with the illegal gambling."

    Illegal forms of gambling include bookmaking, animal fighting, and gambling devices such as slot machines. Antique slot machines are also illegal unless they are more than 25 years old and can be played at no cost.

    Other illegal gambling activities include sports betting, card and dice games outside of licensed card rooms, and professional gambling.

    All legal and licensed forms of gambling within Washington are available to those who are 18 years or old. However, if the establishment serves alcohol, they may only do so if the customer is over 21.

    It's still being requested that online gambling laws are changed and allow for online casinos to apply for licenses but there is no light at the end of that tunnel as of yet.

    iGaming

    As the law currently stands, Washington state law forbids all forms of online gambling - except one. Betting on horse racing. There are a number of US casino sites that offer these services to Washington residents, but that's where the good news ends.

    For those who reside within Washington and would love to indulge in online gambling fun, the chances of this happening in the near future are close to zero. More than that, it's dangerous to even attempt to visit illegal online casinos that operate from outside.

    More than just frowned upon or considered a bad idea, partaking in any form of online gambling (with or without knowing it) could land you in jail. It's a felony to participate in online gambling activities as a player as an operator and is strictly forbidden.

    For many years, gamblers have been calling for these laws to changes. Washington was one of the first states to allow online gambling in the state but this burst of excitement was shortlived. Less than year after opening their doors to the online casino world, they shut down all online operations.

    This took place in 2005 as tribal casinos started to soar. The federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was set in place and lawmakers within Washington decided to make any and all changes they could to protect the current gambling industry as it stood. This included removing the threat that online gambling posed to their land-based casinos.

    While creating the bill that was signed into law in 2006, the definition of gambling was expanded to include "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.”

    In 2018, this law was taken one step further as even social casinos were seen as breaking the law. Due to the chips at social casinos being available for purchase for real money if the players choose to do so, it is now a class C felony to partake in any social casinos or poker sites within Washington DC.

    FAQ

    What types of gambling are available in Washington?

    Land-based gambling operations such as Indian casinos on reservations, card rooms, lotteries, bingo, and horse racing can all be enjoyed with ease.

    Is online gambling for real money allowed in Washington?

    No. All forms of online gambling (excluding horse racing) is illegal in WA and is a class C felony.

    Are social casinos legal in Washington?

    No. Due to laws enacted in 2018, chips bought at social casinos are seen as forms of gambling and are also a class C felony.

    Can online casinos outside of Washington state be utilised?

    No. Any form of online gambling that occurs within WA is illegal.

    What's the legal minimum age for gambling in WA?

    All legal and licensed gambling activities have a minimum age restriction of 18.

    Who regulates gambling activities in WA?

    The Washington State Gambling Commission oversees all forms of gambling in Washington.

    What sort of games are available at Washington card clubs?

    There are many different card games available include Texas Hold’em, Seven-Card Stud, blackjack, Three Card Poker, baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em and many more.

    Are daily fantasy sports sites legal in WA?

    Unfortunately not. No daily fantasy sports sites or sports betting of any kind is legal within Washington.

    Can I bet on horse racing in Washington?

    Yes! Horse racing is legal in Washington. It's the only form of online gambling allowed too.

    Can I smoke while playing at tribal casinos?

    Yes. Laws that ban smoking at casinos do not apply to tribal casinos.

    Casinos and Gambling Facilities in Washington

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