Washington Casinos, Gambling, and Law Regulations: An Overview

The Evergreen State is heaven for gambling fans. Apart from betting on greyhound racing, almost all other land-based forms of gambling will be there waiting for you. However, make sure to follow all the rules and regulations, as Washington has severe penalties for disobeying the law.

The only thing missing at the moment is online gambling. While the majority of states have not regulated this activity yet, Washington explicitly prohibits any type of online gambling, including Daily Fantasy Sports. What is more, the law targets both players and operators.

This text is created to guide you through all the vital information about gambling in Washington. Inside, you will find the legal gambling options together with some recommendations for the places where you can try your luck. Wait no more, and let’s get right to business.

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Gambling Laws in Washington — The Law Overview

The Washington Revised Code states that gambling means: “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, pari-mutuel betting and handicapping contests.”

Apart from the definition of gambling, The Evergreen State clearly defined all the allowed forms of gambling, each in a separate document.

The Washington Lottery Commission regulates the state lottery, as well as the multi-state lottery organizations. For monitoring the horse racing industry, the state assigned The Washington Horse Racing Commission. Except for these two, The Washington State Gambling Commission takes care of licensing and regulating all forms of gambling in the state.

Chapter 9.46 RCW of the 1973 Gambling Act has a list of all forms of gambling with a set of rules meant to regulate them. Also, there is a list that contains information regarding penalties for breaking the rules:

  • Misdemeanor — Up to 90 days in county jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
  • Gross Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.
  • Class C Felony — Up to 5 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
  • Class B Felony — Up to 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.

That said, let’s look at the forms of gambling that you can freely take part in when in Washington.

What Forms of Gambling are Allowed in Washington?

Washington is one of the states that allows almost all forms of gambling, except online gambling. Whatever your preference when it comes to games of chance, Washington most likely offers it.

It all started with betting on horse racing in 1933. You are allowed to visit the race tracks and place wagers on horses. Moreover, horse racing is the only form of gambling for which you can use online and mobile betting apps if a race track owns a valid license.

In 1963, bingo and raffles became legal behind the term charitable gambling. To be considered a charity, the organization must exist for “charitable, benevolent, eleemosynary, educational, civic, patriotic, political, social, fraternal, athletic, or agricultural” reasons. These nonprofit organizations are obliged to register with local jurisdictions, which further regulates its operation.

The lottery has been there for the residents of Washington since 1982. Lottery tickets and scratch-off cards are both available in the state. You can find them almost everywhere — convenience stores, gas stations, and official lotto vendor places. There are also multi-state lotteries like Powerball and Mega Millions that people in Washington gladly take part in.

Yet, the form of gambling most people are interested in is casino gambling. Washington stands firm in that sense, as it has numerous tribal casinos in operation since 1992. They are mostly small establishments that must sign a compact with the state. The casinos are equally distributed throughout the state and offer table games like slots, roulette, craps, and video poker.

Finally, there are card clubs where you can find blackjack, baccarat, and proprietary games. Card clubs do not offer table games that you can find in tribal casinos, and vice versa.

Now, the only thing missing to make a gambling scene complete in Washington is online gambling. Is online gambling completely forbidden, or is there a loophole regarding it in the state?

Although many other forms of gambling legally exist in Washington, online gambling is not one of them. Quite the contrary, online gambling is explicitly prohibited in The Evergreen State.

To make sure that Washington residents will take the matter seriously, the laws about online gambling are available in black and white. The Washington State Gambling Commission officially states that: “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.”

In 2006, the Washington State Legislature made amendments to RCW 9.46.240, thus making it clear that online gambling is not allowed by any means.

The definition covers almost everything, including gamble on the Internet and installing or maintaining equipment to send or receive gambling information. Even Daily Fantasy Sports fall under this regulation. In short, you are not allowed to facilitate Internet gambling in any way.

The Constitution targets not only the players but the operators as well. The penalty for transmitting gambling information that was once considered a gross misdemeanor changed into a class C felony.

Until the state handles this issue and makes online gambling legal, you might want to check other options for displaying your gambling skills. Luckily, there are many waiting to be discovered.

Where to Gamble in Washington?

We already clarified that online gambling and greyhound racing is not available in Washington. However, apart from that, everything else is legal in The Evergreen State. Below you will find our top choices that will provide you with the best entertainment.

Tulalip Resort Casino

Tulalip Resort Casino is great for anyone interested in more than just gambling. This establishment incorporates both slots and table games into its offer. The casino takes pride in paying over 5 million dollars in jackpots monthly! Apart from your favorite games and exciting jackpots, Tulalip offers food and accommodation that won’t disappoint you. Even if you are stressed, don’t worry, as the resort features a spa where you can indulge in a relaxing massage you keep postponing. Find it at 10200 Quil Ceda Blvd, Tulalip, WA 98271.

Angel of the Winds Casino

Located at 3438 Stoluckquamish Ln, Arlington, WA 98223 and open 24/7, Angel of the Winds Casino offers a wide range of table games, slots, and keno. While you can book a room like anywhere else, you can also choose one of their packages that combine it with Xciting Xtras to make your stay more enjoyable. The establishment has several restaurants and as many bars that will always leave you craving for more. However, don’t trust us and see for yourself.

Muckleshoot Casino

This is a casino that offers all the games listed above with the addition of bingo and off-track betting. Also, when you find yourself there, you will be able to buy your weekly lottery ticket, in case you forgot to do so. Dining options are diverse as well, from a quick bite place to 5-star restaurants. If you are a non-smoker, don’t be worried about not being able to breathe, as the casino has a separate section for people who choose a healthy lifestyle. Look for it at 2402 Auburn Way S, Auburn, WA 98002 whenever you feel like, as it is open for 24 hours every day.

FAQ

What types of gambling are available in Washington?

In Washington, you can legally place bets on horse racing, take part in the lottery or charity games, or visit tribal casinos and card clubs.

Is online gambling allowed in Washington?

No, online gambling is explicitly illegal in Washington, and the ban applies to both players and operators.

What is the minimum gambling age for allowed forms of gambling in Washington?

To be able to gamble in casinos in Washington, you must be 21. Everyone above 18 is allowed to participate in bingo and pari-mutuel wagering.

Who regulates gambling activities in Washington?

The government agency in charge of enforcing gambling laws and regulations in the state of Washington is the Washington State Gambling Commission.

Is greyhound betting legal in Washington?

No, placing bets on greyhound racing is not allowed in The Evergreen State.