Washington is a pro gambling state with lots to offer. There is a good mix of tribal and private commercial casinos providing all the usual table games and gaming machines. In addition, card rooms for table game players and poker players are legal.
Washington Online Gambling
Unfortunately, Washington is extremely clear in its stance on gambling online. Many US States remain vague in their legality of online casino activities whilst Washington is clearly opposed.
Article II Section 24 states that all gambling activities are considered illegal unless they have been specifically approved. Online casino activity has not been specifically approved and therefore is considered illegal.
In fact, in 2006, the state raised the penalty from a misdemeanor to a felony which can result in jail time of up to five years and/or a $5,000 fine.
In 2010 the Poker Players Alliance challenged the law in the Supreme Court, stating that it was unconstitutional. The State won unanimously with a vote of nine to zero.
Therefore Washington remains one of the strictest US States in prohibition of gambling online.
Having said this, there have been no reported instances of the law being enforced and therefore you will find that many licensed offshore online casinos will accept Washington residents. (You could say playing online casinos is the equivalent of jaywalking).
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The Evergreen state offers a wide range of gambling options which can be broadly split into: tribal casinos, state lottery, card rooms, pull tabs, horse racing and bingo.
The largest revenue generator for the state is derived from tribal casinos Tribal casinos are governed by the Federal compact of the Indian Government Regulatory Act (IGRA) that came in effect in 1988. Tribal casinos are permitted to offer the widest of gaming in the state, compared to other gambling venues. The games on offer at tribal casinos include:
- Blackjack – $500 max.
- Baccarat – $500 max.
- Pai Gow – $500 max.
- Slots (*)
- Pull tabs
- Horse racing