Legal Online Poker Washington State

  1. Online Poker Legal In Washington State
  2. Online Poker Washington State Legal
  3. Play Money Poker Washington State
  4. Poker Rooms In Washington State
  5. Legal Online Gambling Washington State

Washington Poker Laws The State of Washington is the only state in the United States that has a specific law prohibiting online gambling. In many states, existing gambling law may pertain to online gambling, but this is not always clear, whereby in Washington they have taken the step to make it very clear that it is illegal. Washington online poker has had some attempts at being regulated, but WA is far from becoming one of the legal online gambling sites. The biggest off-line option for exerting betting are the tribal land based. Technically, Washington’s laws do not allow for online poker, yet there is no real legal peril that players need to worry about. That’s because the laws in Washington penalize those who own and operate. Washington State offers a huge choice of brick and mortar gambling to their citizens, with more than 100 venues including Tribal casinos, poker card rooms and racetracks. On the other hand this is the most clearly anti-gambling State when it comes to online play – with an act making this illegal and including some severe punishments. Washington is one of the few US states that has banned online poker WA websites outright. Under a new amendment made in 2006, it became a Class C felony to gamble online within state borders. In 2010, many US sites stopped taking real-money poker deposits from players in the Evergreen State.

By Ron Upshaw
July 24, 2018 at 2:38 pm

I’m a poker player. There was a time when you would have to whisper that fact in hushed tones and make sure you watched who you were talking to. That was before the World Series of Poker was televised nationwide on ESPN, and people generally accepted the fact that there is skill involved in the game. That was before there were personal computers in every pocket and very smart people would try and solve the game with algorithms.

RELATED: Ron’s life lessons learned from poker

Did you realize that in the state of Washington it is a Class C Felony to play a hand of poker online for real money? Yes, it is a felony to place an online wager in Washington!

Just to give you some context, here is the explanation of misdemeanors from the Washington State Courts webpage: “Examples of gross misdemeanors are theft of property and driving while under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. Among the many types of misdemeanors are disorderly conduct and prostitution.”

You got that right. A DUI and prostitution are misdemeanors, while placing a wager online is a felony.

Here’s the thing though, people like to gamble. It’s fun, and it can add a little excitement to a dull day. So I was surprised to read on Geekwire that Muckleshoot Casino is rolling out a new app that has a clever work around this draconian online wagering law.

Here’s how it’s going to work starting in the fall. You download their app to your phone, then physically go to the casino and purchase games with cash money. Then you can leave the casino and play the games anywhere virtually. If you win, you’re winning real money that you collect the next time you’re at the casino.

Yebo no deposit bonus codes. These won’t be games like poker or roulette, but more like bingo and other games where you’re not playing against the house.

I’m tempted to go on a diatribe on how stupid the state of Washington is for criminalizing an online behavior that is perfectly legal in real life. Instead, I’m going to view this as a positive step.

Hopefully, this will end up in court and the current laws will be thrown out.

Society is slowly losing its judgments about archaic prohibitions from a bygone era. Attitudes are becoming more liberal around the idea of placing a bet for entertainment. Look no further than the recent Supreme Court decision on sports wagering.

Washington state needs to wake up and realize this is a perfectly acceptable tax revenue stream that is no different than ordering your groceries online instead of going to the brick and mortar store. If people want to use their entertainment budget to play a game, isn’t that their business?

Kudos to Muckleshoot for moving this issue forward. Now let’s take the next logical step and allow responsible adults to do online all the things they can legally do in a casino.

You can hear “What are we talking about here?” everyday at 4:45 p.m. on 97.3 FM.

Most Popular

Superior Court Judge Mary Roberts of King County in Washington state, dealt a huge blow to online poker fans yesterday. Roberts upheld a 2006 law passed in Washington State, that made playing Internet poker a felony. Roberts announced her decision as nearly 70-80 poker supporters outside the Justice center exuded their disbelief.

“We are not criminals. We’re not people off in the hinterland. We really are average citizens,” said Drew Lesofski, the Washington, D.C.-based director of Poker Players Alliance. His group, which claims a million members nationwide, organized the rally. “This censorship can’t be tolerated,” he said.

Lee Rousso, an attorney fighting for Internet poker player rights, argued that this law violated a US Constitutional commerce clause and is cruel and unusual punishment. Rousso continued to ascertain that this law was a protectionist measure by the state that discriminates against legal, out of state companies, who would like to do business in Washington. The law forces gamblers in the state to frequent their local casinos and to spend money in the state as opposed to online.

Bill Sponsor

Not surprisingly, the original bill was sponsored by Senator Margarita Prentice, who’s district has a number of casinos and land based poker rooms that capitalize from the law. A similar type of practice is happening throughout Europe, where countries are trying to ban online gambling so that citizens spend money in their state operated card rooms and casinos. The Netherlands is one such country trying to crack down on Internet gambling, but is facing fierce resistance from the European Union (EU). The EU is giving countries like The Netherlands and Greece a final warning before bringing them to court.

The same thing cannot be said here as the US government shows no signs of stepping in to repeal this decision. Currently, there is no explicit federal law against playing Internet poker. Some argue that the 1961 Wire Act, which essentially made betting and making wagers on sports over a wire communication facility a crime, does not explicitly refer to Internet poker.

Punishment for Internet Gambling in Washington State

Since the law was enacted in 2006, no Internet poker player has been charged. A representative from the Washington State Gambling Commission stated that players do fall under the law, but their primary focus has been on operators of Internet gambling sites. Again, this law makes it a Class C felony, for a person caught playing poker online in the state of Washington, a crime on the same level as child molestation.


Play Money Poker Washington State

Internet Poker Player Reactions

Poker Rooms In Washington State

“I don’t know why the government would want to put me in jail, because I want to relax and play poker a couple of hours a night in the privacy of my home,” said Linda McCabe.

For many Internet poker players, they want to see big brother stay out of their lives. They see it as a hypocrisy that the government can outlaw an average citizen from playing Internet poker, but still allow their citizens to purchase lottery tickets from them online. This is a serious issue not only for Internet gamblers but for individuals rights in the United States. It should be interesting to see if other states follow suit.

After reading this article, you may be interested in our articles on: