The Washington State – The Evergreen State – is a quite liberal with many online gambling options. In addition the land based gambling scene is proliferate with casinos, bingo halls, poker venues (a.k.a card rooms) and horse betting.
Online gambling is very popular, and is growing in patronage from Washington residents, as well as many other US States.
Land based casinos have a good blend of tribal and commercial, but the majority are located on native American land. The larger Vegas style casinos are naturally found in the larger cities such as Seattle, whilst spread among the surrounding cities, you will be able to find small to medium sized casinos.
Cardrooms are widely popular as well. Extremely well regulated by the Washington Gaming Commission, players can join in a poker game by paying a small fee, and businesses can apply for licenses to run card rooms.
As you can see, Washington State offers a broad range of gambling opportunities. We discuss all of them in the following paragraphs.
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In helping you choose an online casino, we have compiled a list through extensive research, game play, and surveying the popularity of each online casino. In creating our Washington Online Casinos list, we ranked each casino with the principles of Honesty, Bonuses and Game Quality.
There are many other aspects that should be considered, and each person may be unique in what they are looking for – particularly with game selection. However, we have chosen to focus on Honesty, Bonuses, and Game Quality.
Honest – A honest online casino is by far the best one to play at. Honest casinos will treat you fairly, have quality pay out ratios, and will provide real customer experience. A dishonest casino not only provide a poor gaming experience, but also a lot of disheart with not honoring potential winnings.
Bonuses – the core feature that many players look for, but should come as a second after honesty. There’s no point in being award great bonuses, if the casino does not honor the winnings. Bonus for honest casinos, make a natural good selection. Bonus come if the form of match deposit percentage and are usually capped. Other bonuses include free spins for slot players, weekly prizes, and VIP credits.
Game Quality – the graphics and audio can simply be amazing with today’s gaming. Many players may not be aware, but the development of online gaming has certainly come a long way. Gone are the simple 2D simple sketchy pictures, replaced with at times life like, crystal clear animation and imagery, coupled with astonishing and exciting audio. Game design has expanded beyond the realms of imagination, with numerous game variations to play on.
Legality of Washington Online Casinos
If you were to examine the Washington laws black and white, you could say that Washington has one of the harshest State laws of any state in the US. However, though prima facie, it may appear that way, it could not be further than the truth.
In the year 2019, according to H2 Gambling Capital, $68 million was played at online casinos by Washington residents, with NO player ever being charged with a felony (as stipulated in the law).
You may notice, however, that all Washington Online Casinos are based offshore. The laws maybe lax for players (and understandably so), but they are not so for online casino operators. In fact, illegal online casino operators face harsh penalties that can and will be enforced. Therefore, rather than online casino sites setting up their home base within the Washington State, they prefer to be legally established offshore under relatively strict compliance regimes (with of course lower tax concessional rates).
For the hardcore readers who like to read the specific Washington gambling laws please refer to Rev. Code Wash. § 9.46.0269. This law articulates the legality of professional gambling, social gambling, and collection of winnings. In addition Rev. Code Wash. § 9.46.0225 describes what constitutes a gambling which is defined as a “game of chance” and where Class C felony charges may be applied.
WagerDex has disclosed the above statements as information only. We do not purport that the information is complete nor correct in entirety. The above statements are not be used as specific legal advice. No attorney and clients relationship exists between WagerDex and readers of this site.
Washington Online Gambling
There is without any doubt, that all forms of online gambling is booming across the country. In particular many are searching for online slots, bingo and poker. Online horse betting is also occurring, but nowhere near as popular as the other forms.
We now discuss each of these forms of online betting in detail.
Washington Online Slots
Leading the variation of online gaming is online slots. Slots at land based casinos are extremely popular, and so too are they on the internet. You will find, many articles regarding slot hacks, and slot game play. Unique to the US, is also the differentiation between Class II and Class III slot machines. These stem from the unique laws bestowed upon native American casinos, and the laws that categorize gaming between Class II and Class III.
But back to online. You will find all the favorites online. Three reels, five reels, video poker and much more. In addition, the denominations range from the pennies to the dollars. Various lines can be chosen, providing innumerable permutations.
The most popular online (again as with land based) are the progressive online slots. These offer the opportunity to win huge jackpots, and can change the lives to winners in an instant.
On a side note: ownership of a slot machine in Washington is permitted, but not the operating of an online slot site. The state law – Washington Code 9.46.235 – refers to the ownership of slots machines in the spirit of antiques. Defined as least 25 years of old, slot machines must not be used for gambling purpose and as only as a collectors item.
Washington Online Bingo
Did you know that bingo is fast becoming one of the most popular games in Washington, particularly online! After going through a period of near non existence, bingo is the phoenix of games. Though not commonly seen as a form a gambling, many referring to it as a soft form of gambling, it is still governed by gambling laws in many US States, and in Washington it is no different. The Washington Gambling State Commission oversees the running of bingo licenses. Mostly it is non charitable organizations that are permitted to obtain bingo licenses, but some commercial organizations can also apply.
Online bingo laws technically do not exist. In an implied interpretation of the gambling laws, bingo is not legal. However, to this day, there has not been a single charge laid against anyone in Washington for play bingo online. And it would be ludicrous for this to ever occur. Therefore, you will find many online bingo sites that do accept Washington Players.
Online bingo is a great form of keeping connected with friends and family, and at the same time playing a game that keeps your mind fresh, active with the opportunity to win small prizes.
Washington Online Poker
Poker is played at Licensed Card Rooms that can be found scattered across the entire State. The largest card rooms can be found at the native American casinos, with the largest at Muckleshoot casino hosting 15 tables (the maximum according to State Gambling Laws).
Most games are Texas Hold’em and Omaha, with other variations much harder to find.
No land based card rooms are permitted to operate online, thus, if you wish to join a poker game via the internet, you must play at an offshore poker site. There are quite a few which accept Washington players, and offer a great gaming experience.
Washington Online Horse Betting
Washington State Law does not permit online horse betting, and land based racing tracks that do accept OTB currently do not offer any online methods of pari-mutuel wager acceptance. Thus, you will be hard pressed to find onshore online horse betting sites. There are a few offshore online horse betting sites, however, they do no offer as wide a variety of horse racing events as those on the land.
Native American Casinos
By far the biggest and most popular of gambling options in the Evergreen state are the native American casinos. There is a good mix of tribal vs commercial, but the tribal casinos easily outnumber the smaller commercial ones.
The native American casinos are required to adhere to the tribal Federal compacts of 1988 referred to as the Indian Government Regulatory Act (IGRA). The Act divides gaming into the three categories of Class I, II and III.
Native American casinos are permitted to offer all the popular casino table games that includes: Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, Craps, Pai Gow.
TheY are also permitted to offer Class II Slot Machines. Class II slot machines can be best described as bingo machines on steroids. Rev’ed up to look and feel like real Vegas Style slot machines, they behave slightly different with pooled results predetermined prior to the pull of a lever or the push of a button.
Washington State Lottery
The state lottery is actually legally and formally referred to as Washington’s Lottery. Established in the 1980’s, Washington’s Lottery is one of the oldest gaming lottery commission among US States. It has sole monopoly on all lottery products which includes: Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto and Scratch tickets and Keno.
The funds raised from the lottery are directed to public educational initiatives.
Washington Horse Racing Commission
Established in March 1933, the Washington Horse Racing Commission oversees all forms of legalized pari-mutuel betting on horse racing in the Washington State. This includes:
- horse racing
- race tracks
The law defines pari-mutuel betting as a pooling of bets, whereby winners share the total amount wagered after administration expenses are deducted.
The Commission currently does not endorse online horse betting, which is illegal in the eyes of Washington State Law.
Washington State Gambling Commission
The Washington State Gambling Commission (WSGC) is the state department that overseas all forms of gambling in the State (excluding horse racing).
It has yet to form any regulations for online casinos (onshore). However, in the latest news for gambling, sports gambling has formally been legalized in March 2020. Governor Jay Inslee, through House Bill 2638, permitted sports gambling to be part of tribal-state gaming compacts. This means, similar to slots being categorized as Class II vs Class III, similar changes to the law must be applied to sports gambling.