What types of gambling are legal in Washington?
Washington offers a wide variety of legalized gambling options. Players will find tribal casinos, card clubs, a state lottery, horseracing and charitable gaming. Sports betting is legal at tribal casinos. However, none have opened sportsbooks.
Washington is one of the few states that expressly forbids online gambling. It is a felony to play at any unlicensed poker, casino or sports betting site.
This list shows the types of gambling found in Washington and where to find it:
- Horseracing (off-track and mobile)
- Lottery (scratch-offs, keno and lotto sales at retailers)
- Slots, video poker and table games (at the state’s tribal casinos)
- Poker and other card games (card clubs)
- Sports betting (legal at tribal casinos but not active)
- Bingo and raffles (only at registered charities)
Online Gambling in Washington
The only form of legal online gambling in Washington is horseracing. Most major mobile and online off-track betting companies accept players from Washington. The list includes BetAmerica, Xpressbet, TVG and TwinSpires. Bettors must be at least 21 years old.
Technically, mobile sports betting is legal on tribal land. No apps have been launched.
Online Gambling Laws in Washington
Online gambling, unless authorized by state law, is a class C felony. This covers players and operators of gambling products. It is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and up to five years in prison. Horseracing enjoys an exemption under state simulcast laws and the Horseracing Act of 1978.
Land-based Casinos in Washington
Land-based casinos are found on reservations in Washington. These casinos may offer slot machines, video poker, bingo, pull-tabs and table games. There are no restrictions on tables. It may include craps, roulette, blackjack, poker, Pai Gow Poker, baccarat, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Three Card Poker and nearly any other game that you would find in a traditional casino.
Commercial card clubs offer some of these table games. Slots and video poker are not permitted at Washington card clubs. Approved games include anything that is dealt with cards, like blackjack, Three Card Poker, live poker and Ultimate Texas Hold’em. Craps, roulette and other games based on luck and not cards are not permitted.
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Washington Card Clubs
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Land-based Casino Laws in Washington
Tribal casinos operate through gaming compacts with the state. Each tribe has its own rules, though there is some uniformity. The tax tends to be related to licensing costs. The maximum bet is often $500.
Card clubs are held to different standards. Most of the regulation is at the local level. Jurisdictions may opt in or out of card clubs. The tax rate is 20 percent, in addition to anything imposed by local governments. Card clubs generally have a maximum bet $200 up to $500. Casino gambling policy is covered under 9.46.010.
Players must be at least 21 years old if alcohol is served. Otherwise, it is 18.
Sports Betting in Washington
Sports betting is legal at Washington tribal casinos. However, there are no sportsbooks open yet. The law only permits in-person wagering. Mobile betting is not permitted. Small sports pools are legal.
Sports Betting Laws in Washington
HB 2638 was passed into law in 2020. This allows tribal casinos to open sportsbooks and accept bets on professional and college sports. Wagers on in-state college teams are not permitted. Betting must be made at a tribal casino. Statewide mobile betting was not approved, but it is legal on tribal land. No mobile apps are available currently. Bettors must be at least 21 years of age.
Poker in Washington
Poker is permitted in Washington card clubs and tribal casinos. Most games are permitted but must be approved by regulators. The bet limit ranges from $200 to $500, depending on the gaming agreement.
Washington Poker Rooms
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Poker Laws in Washington
Tribal and card club poker is covered by 9.46.010. Players must be at least 18 years old. However, any casino where alcohol is served must limit access to those 21 and older. Poker is regulated by the Washington Gaming Commission. Card clubs must be approved by local governments. Municipalities may opt out of card clubs.
Home Poker Games
Home poker games are permitted in Washington. There is a social gaming exception. Home poker games that do not take a rake and are fair to all players are legal under state law.
Fantasy Sports in Washington
All forms of online gambling outside of horseracing are illegal in Washington state. No daily fantasy sports companies accept Washington players.
Fantasy Sports Laws in Washington
Playing or operating fantasy sports contests is a class C felony in Washington based on its internet gaming prohibition. This punishment is up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
The Washington State Lottery sells tickets to lotto drawings, keno and instant games. Keno is only drawn once per day. Instant games are sold in the form of scratch-off tickets. Tickets may be purchased at retailers. There are no online sales.
Interstate Washington Lotto Drawings
- Mega Millions
Intrastate Washington Lotto Drawings
- Hit 5
- Match 4
- Pick 3
Washington Lottery Laws
The Washington Lottery was created on July 16, 1982. It was approved through legislative action. Revenues go towards education, environmental efforts, and other expenditures that are part of the state’s general fund. Players must be at least 18 years old. Tickets must be purchased at a lottery retailer. Online sales are not available.
Washington Horse Racing
Horseracing is legal in Washington. Live racing is available at Emerald Downs and Sun Downs. Off-track betting is available there, at many casinos and card clubs, and on mobile betting apps. Companies that accept horseracing action from Washington state residents include BetAmerica, Xpressbet, TVG and TwinSpires.
Washington Horse Racing Betting Laws
Washington permits live and off-track betting on horses. RCW 67.16.200 regulates pari-mutuel pools on these events. Off-track betting is available at the state’s racetracks, card clubs and tribal casinos. Mobile apps are legal in the state with licensing. It is the only form of legalized online gambling in Washington.
Washington Skill-based Gaming Laws
Washington state defines gambling as placing something of value on a contest of chance or future contingent event. This leaves a door open to some more forms of skill-based gaming than other states that outlaw a game with any chance. Social events like betting on board games or contests of skill or speed are legal. Other games that may seem like skill-based, like poker, are specifically outlawed.
eSports are not addressed anywhere in Washington state law. Participants and observers may bet the game between each other. Professional bookmaking an eSports event is a crime.
Traditional Games of Skill
Traditional skill games are legal for wagering in Washington. Mobile apps and websites like Worldwinner accept players from the state.
Skill-based Gaming Machines
Skill-based gaming machines are legal. These are often found in taverns and arcades. Winnings must be paid in free play or prizes. Cash may only be paid in sweepstakes-style giveaways.
Washington Charity Gambling Laws
Washington allows charities to hold raffles and bingo nights. This was first approved in 1963. Regulation of the games started with RCW 9.46.0205. Bingo games are regulated by the Washington Gaming Commission. Raffles may not sell tickets over $100 without permission. Bingo games have no limits. Players must be at least 18 years old.