Is Poker legal in Washington (wa)? Online Poker Laws in Washington Explained
Table Of Contents
- Live Poker is allowed
- Sports Betting is allowed
- Sports Betting is legal since 2020
- Online Poker is forbidden
- Online Casino is forbidden
Can You Play Online Poker in Washington?
There is currently no legislation permitting online poker in the state.
Current Washington Gambling Laws
Casinos are allowed in Washington, albeit only on Indian reservations. There are nearly three dozen casinos in Washington operated by more than two dozen different tribes. Among Washington state casinos are Muckleshoot Casino, Tulalip Resort Casino and Emerald Queen Casino, to name just a few.
The casinos fall under the supervision of the Washington State Gambling Commission, which also authorizes and regulates social gambling activities such as bracket and office sports pools.
While Washington has embraced many forms of gambling, online gaming is not one of them. In fact, in 2006 they passed a law that made it a Class C felony to play poker online. It was challenged in 2012 but reaffirmed by a judge. As such, almost all online operators, including those offering free play options, have pulled out of Washington state.
Not only is online poker prohibited, the mobile gaming industry faces its own struggles in Washington.
There have been several grassroot movements hoping to change the law and redefine online poker, but so far despite their efforts, no overhaul has occurred.
While many states are considering online gaming and others take a "wait-and-see" approach, Washington actively stands against it. It'll take a lot for that to change — most notably the tribes fighting against it. Don't expect a change in the Washington online gaming landscape for quite some time, if ever.
In 2020, Washington lawmakers approved a bill to legalize sports betting in the state. Sports betting in Washington only takes place at Tribal casinos, which meant the market is limited to retail sportsbooks and won’t experience the growth associated with mobile gaming.
Best Online Poker Sites for Washington Players
None at present. But you can always play poker for free with the WSOP Social App.