Washington State Gambling Laws

Washington State Gambling Laws

Washington is considered to be one of the permissive US states when it comes to gambling, but there are some legal restrictions. Read our article and learn about the Washington gambling legislature.

A Guide to Washington State Gambling Laws

Washington is a good place for gamblers. This state has a rich offer of over 100 casino institutions, racetracks, and poker card rooms, mostly on tribal lands. However, Washington is known for being especially restrictive towards internet gambling.

The state of Washington understands gambling as staking or risking something of value in the contest of chance, influenced upon an agreement that the person (or someone else) will receive or lose something of value in the process.

According to the Washington state laws, allowed forms of gambling are:

  • Bingo and raffle
    • only in charity purposes
    • only with a special gambling license
    • there are limitations on the allowed number of games
  • Sports betting
    • Horse races (pari-mutuel, on and off-track betting)
  • Casinos
    • most are on tribal lands
  • Social card games
    • only if the house doesn’t profit
  • State lottery

Washington State Gambling Laws

The state strictly forbids online gambling in any form. Washington State Gambling Commission prosecuted several holders of online gaming sites and charged them with severe fines, so for now, it is impossible to get involved in such businesses.

As for brick-and-mortar casinos, they are mostly conducted and operated by some of Washington’s twenty native tribes. Also, gamblers who come to Washington often take cruise tours to international waters to gamble without the need to worry about any legal problems.

As for the future, many hope that internet gambling will be legalized, but this is not very likely to happen. On the one hand, the willingness of the state is lacking. There have recently been legal proposals to loosen up the legislation, but some of them never even got the chance to be discussed. Still, the Washington state supreme court’s official statement is that they don’t support the current legal status of gambling, but they leave any legal changes to the state officials. On the other hand, tribal casinos are against it too.

It is important to highlight the fact that the law is changing day by day, so players should consult a lawyer or another professional in gambling legislature if they have any additional questions.