Gaming Regulations In The State of Washington

Although gambling is legal in some form in most places across the United States, it’s also heavily regulated. This is to protect the player from criminal actions and questionable behavior. This is justified since the gambling industry boasts a long history of criminal involvement. Since there are always large amounts of cash in an uncontrolled environment, it’s a haven for illegal activity.

There are two specific methods of effectively enforcing gaming regulations. These include:

  • Separate gambling licensing from politics
  • Tighten controls on all parties
  • The State of Washington

Washington is an interesting state with regards to gaming regulatory bodies. The Washington Gaming Commission supervises all gaming functions within the state. The Commission is comprised of nine board members. Five of the members are appointed by the Governor and serve in their respective seats for six-year terms.

The Commission is also available to the state senate. Additionally, there are four ex-officio board members, two from the house and two from the senate. The Washington Gaming commission is one of the largest in the United States with 135 employees. Even by California gaming standards that’s a fairly large group, covering all regions.

Card Rooms

Washington is an interesting state for gaming law because it regulates card rooms. In Washington, a card room can only be a supplementary business to help support the main business-like a bar or restaurant.

Unfortunately for the owner, the profitability is limited by the state. Although this was recently raised, the card room could only charge $3 per half hour per seat as the take for the house. The card room operations are not taxed at the state level. Instead, many localities apply taxes.

Other Gambling Operations

The Gaming Commission is also responsible for other gambling operations like sports pools, amusement games, pull-tabs, and charitable gaming. Also included are the numerous tribal casinos within the state of Washington. There are many, ongoing negotiations with the Native American groups regarding legislation.

Washington State boasts a large, well-run, and regulated gaming system. With the Washington Gaming Commission overseeing most of the operations, they protect the consumer from cheating and manage to keep illegal gaming activities to a minimum. As time passes, stricter laws may be enforced for the good of the customer from cheating and illegal activities. Washington is one of only a few states taking the lead toward gambling regulation.