Washington

Washington is a state with an advanced tribal casino gaming industry, cruise casinos, a state lottery and a range of charitable gaming options. A network of horse racing betting venues exists with off-track betting options on simulcast horse races.

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) are curiously prohibited, whilst Horse Racing betting are Games of Skill the sole legal online gaming options.

The best betting news that the state’s residents have heard for a while is that Washington’s lawmakers recently found in favour of legal sports wagering and sports betting looks set to be introduced in 2021 (if not before).

Legality of Sports Betting VS Gambling

Washington is mostly an anti-gaming state but does allow gamblers a state lottery, horse racing betting of all possible kinds, tribal casinos and card clubs, some limited charitable gambling options and a home poker carve out under the law.

Sports & Gambling Type
Legal Land-Based
Legal Online
Sports Betting
Yes (beginning in 2020/21)
No
Casinos
Yes
No
Fantasy Sports (DFS)
N/A
No
eSports
No
Undecided
Poker
Yes
No
Horse Racing
Yes
Yes
Games of Skills
Yes
Yes
Lottery
Yes
No
Charitable Gambling
Yes
No

Washington Sports Betting Tax Rates

There is no state tax on gambling winnings in Washington State.

However, gambling wins over a $600 amount in Washington may possibly attract an additional Federal Tax.

We recommend contacting your tax attorney to assess your potential Federal tax liability if you have a big win in the state of Washington.

Sports betting Age VS Gambling Age in Washington

Washington maintains a liberal and easy to manage 18-years-of-age age limit on all its legal forms of gambling, other than casinos. The legal age in Casinos licensed to serve alcohol is 21, while all other casinos have a legal age of 18.

Sports & Gambling Type
Age
Sports Betting
21
DFS
N/A
Casinos
18-21 (Varies)
Horse Racing
18
Lottery
18
Charitable Bingo
18

Betting on Sports in Washington

In late March 2020, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed into state law ESHB 2638, which allows for land-based sports betting only on tribal lands. Online sports wagering in Washington will not be permitted outside the grounds of those tribal casinos, and that will be protected by geo-location technology.

A start date is not to be given for Washington Sports Betting, but it is widely expected for either late 2020 or early 2021. The Super Bowl could possibly be pencilled in as the WA’s first legal sports betting event.

Washington Online Sports Betting Laws

With the passage of the above-mentioned sports betting legislation, online sports betting has been legalized for use within the grounds of a Tribal Casino only. A controversial emergency provision in the law has bypassed the requirement for a Washington State voter referendum, however, legal trouble is still on the horizon. Maverick Gaming CEO Eric Persson is threatening to sue if the referendum is not reinstated – watch this space for updates.

Meanwhile, sports bettors in the Evergreen State can place bets online for horse and greyhound racing.

Games of Skill are also available to play online, and seemingly exempt from the State’s strict gambling laws, due to a loophole in the State Code of Washington’s definition of gambling under (9.46.0237);

‘risking something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance’.

Online Fantasy Sports in Washington

Federal lawmakers have determined that Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) competitions are not gambling at all and they are determined to be games of skill, based on the knowledge of a player being the primary factor in influencing the outcome.

Despite the clarity on the issue at the Federal level, Washington State still sees DFS as illegal despite an attempt by the State’s lawmakers in 2017 to legalize the pastime with Bill SB 5169.

Unfortunately, the bill offered no rules, regulations or player protection definitions. Once the bill has been fine-tuned with a clear set of regulations, passage of the bill through the House may become easier and allow DFS sites to operate freely and accept players from Washington State.

eSports Online Betting Laws

Look for eSports to lead the way as one of new generation of ‘family-friendly’ betting options untarnished by the illegal past once Washington State welcomes legal sports betting.

eSports – What is it?

Simply put, eSports are organized tournaments where players – often referred to as ‘athletes’ – face off against each other in multiplayer video games. eSports have been around as long as multiplayer video games have. Now, however, with improvements in technology, online streaming services and being offered by international sportsbooks for betting purposes, have seen them surge in popularity.

A number of games are played competitively on the eSports circuit, however, the most popular are first-person shooters (FPS) like the Call of Duty franchise, real-time strategy games like Starcraft II, sports games like FIFA and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games such as League of Legends and Dota 2. All draw huge crowds and with each passing tournament, the prizes get richer and viewership increases.

Of course, when money is there to be made, sports-bettors are close behind. A full range of international bookmakers now frame betting markets on the major network of global eSports tournaments.

Look for eSports at your favorite soon-to-be legal Washington sportsbook.

Horse Racing in Washington

In the Evergreen State, the Washington Horse Racing Commission (WHRC) oversees and administers tracks, races, animal welfare and licensing of horse racing and horse racing betting.

Horse and Greyhound racing betting can only be conducted online in Washington and a network of off-track betting locations supplies horse racing betting facilities only.

Trackside Betting

There are 5 tracks in Washington State offering live horse racing betting and simulcast racing betting services.

Off Track Betting (OTB) in Washington

OTB Betting is permitted in Washington at a network of 10 designated OTB branches.

Online Horse Racing in Washington

Despite the state’s stance on online gambling, Horse Racing Betting Online is readily available to Washington’s visitors and residents.

It’s important to note that Horse Racing Betting websites are actually legal in Washington State. The Racing Commission specifically lists several sites as legal, licensed and authorized to take bets online for horse racing. It is possible to visit and place wagers online without any fear of breaking Washington’s harsh online gambling law.

Visitors and residents of Washington can find attractive online odds on thoroughbred racing in the U.S. and all major horse racing venues worldwide directly from their tablets, phones, other mobile devices or home computers.

Click Here for our list of Online Casinos legal in Washington

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