Is Online Gambling Legal in Washington?
If you are a citizen of Washington State, we have some difficult news for you. Washington is one of the two states in the United States that has severely banned all online gambling activities and closely monitors the situation. In fact, the Washington State Gambling Commission Special Agents are authorized to find and arrest anyone who runs a gambling website or uses these websites to engage in gambling activities. But this is not all there is to it. If you want to know the complete answer to whether online gambling is legal in Washington State, read to the end of this article to find out all the details.
What does the Washington State law say about online gambling?
The State law considers the following people as criminals:
- Started and run a gambling website
- Gambled online
- Installed any application on their mobile or computer for gambling online
- Aided in online gambling activities in any way
Anyone arrested under any of the abovementioned circumstances has committed a grade C felony and can be punished from 60 days to 5 years in state prison. The amount of the punishment is decided on a case-by-case basis and depends on whether you are a first-time offender and the extent of your violation of the law.
What types of gambling are legal in Washington?
Washington is one of the states that allows land-based casinos only in Indian reservations. Therefore, all the casinos must be owned by an Indian tribe. Overall, there are 28 land-based casinos in the state in which you can play all the usual games, including Roulette, Blackjack, Poker, etc. Another type of gambling that is legal in this state is horse racing. People can also hold gambling sessions to raise money for charities.
What online gambling activities are forbidden in Washington State?
Washinton State Law considers any activity in which you spend and earn value from the result of something you don’t have any control over as gambling. This includes several activities that will be discussed here.
Using gambling websites
First and foremost, it’s illegal to use gambling websites in Washington State. That’s why the citizens of this state will find it very hard to find an American gambling website or platform that will allow anyone from Washington to be a user. Using gambling websites that are based off-shore is another story. These websites usually accept residents of Washington State easily. However, you must forego your government’s support in case of a legal problem with the website. You should pick the best online gambling websites based abroad carefully because there is a possibility of fraud or identity theft.
Daily Fantasy Sports
Unfortunately, the State law also considers Daily Fantasy Sports as online gambling. Therefore, there aren’t any DFS websites in Washington, and playing these sports is not an option for you. The issue was considered in a Washington court once to count DFS as a skill-based activity, but the case was closed without reaching a decision.
Online sports betting
Fortunately, Advance Deposit Wagering for horse race betting has been legal in Washington State since 2004. This law also includes live horse race betting and off-track betting. However, horse racing is the only sport you can bet on online in this state. There are land-based places where you can bet on other sports. But, online sports betting for other sports is still illegal. Another point you need to remember is that greyhound racing is illegal in all its forms in the entire state.
State-controlled lottery started in Washington in 1982, and since then, the lottery and all its related games have been legal in Washington. The state lottery also includes other games such as Keno, scratch-off tickets, Power Ball, Mega Millions, Lotto, and Hit5.
What are the best online casinos you can gamble in from Washington State?
As mentioned above, off-shore online casinos are the only options you have for playing your favorite casino games online. Here are the best casinos you can register in as a citizen of Washington State.
If you are a Poker fan, this is the online casino for you. The welcome bonus is 300% of your deposit up to $3000. Other than a dedicated Poker room, there are 150 Slot games, 33 live dealer games, and more table games available to you. Ignition also has a Virtual Sports section where you can wager on virtual soccer games, horse, greyhound, camel, and supercar racing. Except for bank wire and cheque by courier options, most of the other payout options are instant or take up to 24 hours. However, you won’t have the MasterCard and Visa options. You will have to do with vouchers, MatchPay, and cryptocurrencies.
Red Dog is perfect for people who want to play casino games on their phones without installing an application. There are Android and IOS applications for Red Dog, but you can also play perfectly fine on your browser. The welcome bonus is 245% of your deposit. And the games include 145 Slot games, Poker video games, live dealer games, and some table games. You can get your payouts via Credit Cards, Bitcoin, and bank wire. But you should know that the minimum withdrawal amount is $150.
To sum up
Washington State has done its very best to prevent people from online gambling on all fronts. Whether you are passionate about online Poker, Sports Betting, or Daily Fantasy Sports, most legal doors are closed to you. The only thing you can do is to risk putting your personal information and money in the hands of off-shore gambling websites. But rest assured that the websites mentioned in this article have a good reputation, and they all welcome people from Washington State.
Which type of online gambling is legal in Washington?
Unfortunately, all online gambling types except horse racing are illegal in the state of Washington. Therefore, horse racing is the only option you have.
Are there any land-based casinos in Washington State?
Yes, there are 28 land-based casinos in Washington, but all of them are tribal casinos. These casinos offer all the usual casino games, including Slots, Poker, Blackjack, Roulette, etc.
Can you get arrested for playing online casino games in Washington?
Yes, the state of Washington penalizes gambling website users as well as their runners. There are also punishments set for financial firms that facilitate money transfers between you and gambling websites.
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