Washington’s gambling laws are quite strict. Those who operate unlicensed casinos or carry out cheating practices will find that the punishments are not lenient. According to the law, such activities are considered a felony. Online gambling falls into this category, as well.
Despite the seemingly harsh legislative approach towards gambling, many forms of it are legal, including tribal casinos, horse racing, lottery, poker, social gaming, and charitable gaming. Gambling earns the state over $3 billion in revenue per year, with the majority of that accruing from tribal casinos.
Greyhound betting is not permitted in any form, while horse racing is widely accepted. Residents and visitors in the state can wager at the two live tracks available or may do so remotely. TVG, BetAmerica, and Twin Spires are great sites to bet on simulcast horse racing events.
The state has a reputation for changing gaming laws often. There have been changes to poker room limits, and disputes over slot machines, among others. Daily fantasy sports are considered illegal, and there have been several futile attempts to legalize poker. On the bright side, bills proposed to lessen stiff punishments for unlawful gambling are underway.
2020 is looking up for gamblers, as earlier in March, the Evergreen State has signed a bill to legalize sports betting. Even though this applies to tribal casinos only, it is a big leap in a positive direction.
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Interesting State Facts
Washington doesn’t have a set age for gambling. Most tribal casinos accept players 18 and over while the standard for other gaming establishments is 21. The state has the most variety of slots and casino games in the country, second only to America’s gambling capital, Las Vegas.
Washington not only holds the presidential headquarters but is also the only state named after a president. The capital, Olympia, was coined from the Olympic Mountains, in turn, named after the legendary Mount Olympus of Greece.
The state has produced a lot of riches. In the city of Medina resides the wealthiest man in the world, Bill Gates. Microsoft corporation, his legacy, is located in Redmond. Billion-dollar companies, Amazon and Starbucks, were birthed in Bellevue and Seattle, respectively.
Washingtonians are so animal friendly that several bridges were constructed just for squirrels. They are also the largest producers of apples and raspberries in the country. The fertile lands have lush forests that make up an astounding 52% of the state.
Washington Gambling Venues
Washington’s gambling scene mostly consists of small poker rooms, bingo parlors, and mini-casinos. Twenty-two tribes operate the 29 casino establishments. For the most part, these establishments are in the Seattle-Tacoma area in the west. To the east, near Spokane, is another tribal casino cluster.
Auburn’s Muckleshoot casino is the largest of the tribal casinos holding more than 3000 slot machines and 75 table games. Two live racing tracks are active – Auburn’s Emerald Downs and Sun Downs. At the racetracks, you can also find blackjack, craps, roulette, slots, video poker, and other table games.
Sweepstakes sites manage to stay under the right side of the law. At Chumba casino and Global Poker, players can access slots and poker games without real money.
Including casinos, card rooms, poker rooms, and racing destinations, the state has about 95 gambling establishments. Many of the casinos are attached to hotels and resorts, so visitors get the complete holiday package. Washington casinos may not be as extravagant as the MGM Grand in Nevada, but they are gaming havens in their own right.