Washington State Flag IconWashington’s gambling laws define gambling, contests of chance, and online gambling. The laws in the state exempt state-regulated gambling activities, charitable gambling, and social gambling. However, certain gambling forms are prohibited in the state such as internet gambling and bingo offered through a commercial casino.

This guide will clarify Washington online gambling laws and discuss how residents of the Evergreen state can find online gambling services.

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Washington Online Gambling Laws

Legal Icon - GavelIn 2006, the state legislature passed a new revision to their state statute that made it a felony offense to knowingly transmit or receive gambling information by radio, telegraph, telephone, internet, or any other communication device. This new Washington gambling law was challenged in the state Supreme Court. In 2010 after a long legal battle, the Supreme Court ruled the 2006 law constitutional.

This law is interpreted as prohibiting online gambling in the state of Washington. Others view the law as an attempt to prohibit illegal online gambling rings from operating in the state, either way, the state does not condone residents from accessing offshore online websites while in the state of Washington.

History and Timeline of Washington Gambling Laws

The state took its first step towards legalizing gambling when it legalized betting on horse racing in 1933. In 1971, the state passed a law legalizing bingo and raffles but soon the law was declared unconstitutional. In 1972, the people of the state voted to legalize bingo and raffles. As a result, the state Gambling Commission was set up in 1973.

Today there are multiple tribal casinos, bingo parlors, and poker rooms located around the state available to anyone over the age of 18. Gambling devices are also considered illegal according to the Washington statues.

Washington State Social Gambling Laws

Social gambling including poker is legal in Washington subject to certain conditions. However, no person is allowed to receive any profit from a social gambling activity other than personal winnings. This means there can be no rake or profit for the house and there can be no charge or fee for participating in the game.

Washington Bingo Gambling

Bingo halls and parlors are permitted to operate within Washington’s tribal casinos. A quick google search will show players the nearest bingo hall location. Other establishments which can offer bingo in Washington are charitable organizations.

Washington Sports Gambling

Washington state law RCW 9.46.0335 allows sports pool wagering as long as the betting board is on a single athletic event. Though Washington state was exempted under PASPA’s rule, there have been no efforts to legalize domestic sports gambling since PASPA’s repeal in 2018. However, the state has introduced legislation to prohibit online gambling, and per PASPA’s removal, the state maintains the right to keep their prohibition toward online gambling and prohibit online wagering.

Washington Casino Gambling

Few commercial casinos exist in the state of Washington. however, numerous tribal casinos operate in the state. Tribal casinos are allowed to operate under the federal 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). There are currently 28 tribal casinos operating under Washington state Class III gaming compacts.

Washington Poker Gambling

Under Washington gambling law, poker is a game of chance. Some commercial casinos, tribal casinos, and tribal card rooms can legally provide poker gambling options.

Washington Casino Cruises and Lottery Gambling Laws

The state also has 18 licensed cruise ships which operate casino cruises. These ships depart regularly from the Port of Seattle. Washington also has a state lottery that was approved in 1982 by the legislature in an attempt to solve the financial crisis the state was facing. The state Lottery Commission oversees the state lottery which offers games like Lotto and Hit 5 as well as multi-state lotteries.

Federal Gambling Laws Which Impact Washington Players

Presently federal laws do not regulate, prohibit, or criminalize playing poker, casino games, sportsbook wagering, or bingo games online. Serval laws which often concern gamblers such as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and the Federal Wire Act, do not prohibit players access online. Rather these laws regulate the processing of payments received from online gambling activity, and prohibit inter-state wagerings – respectively. But neither of these actually prohibit the participation of Americans in online gambling.

Official Washington Gambling Laws And Statutes

Players who are looking for in depth access to the state’s gambling laws and statutes can visit this site: Washington State Legislature Official Website. You will find all of the gambling laws for Washington in their official formats.

**Players who are seeking legal advice or professional interpretation of any law or statute should contact a lawyer. This site is for informational purposes only, created by experienced online gambling consultants. We do not hold any type of law degree or certification, and we are not formally trained in any area of the law. We do not provide legal advice or professional legal interpretations.