Ashley is our golden girl from the Golden State. Native to San Francisco and a former UCLA student, her initial passion in life has always been sport. A keen soccer, volleyball, and softball player, she presumed her life would involve continuing to play sports in her spare time and making use of her Master’s in Psychology during professional hours — and then she visited Las Vegas.
Making her first trip on a weekend getaway with three friends, Ashley immediately fell in love with Vegas, and it’s a relationship that shows no sign of diminishing. As well as being dazzled by the riotous sights and sounds that draw so many to the desert, Ashley found herself watching slots games and the people who played them, and wanting to find out more.
Upon returning home, Ashley focused on learning as much as she could about the mechanics of gambling and everything it has to offer. Combined with multiple trips back to Vegas, and a keenness to dabble in the online casino world when she couldn’t make the trip, Ashley’s aspirations began to change. She began to write articles in an effort to spread her ever-growing knowledge of the gambling world, focusing initially on casinos, but then expanding further into the sports betting and casino realm. Now, Ashley is a Contributing Editor of Las Vegas How To; our golden All-American-girl whose life took a surprising, but hugely rewarding, direction the moment she first inhaled Las Vegas’ dry, opportunity-rich desert air.
Trying to make sense of the US gambling laws isn’t exactly easy at the best of times, but when it comes to WA online gambling sites the story becomes even more complex. Luckily, we’re on hand to help!
We’ll explain how the Washington state laws affect your gambling opportunities, and what to look for to stay safe when playing online. We’ll also be looking at the online casinos Washington residents are legally permitted to play at, as well as likely future legislation to watch out for. So let’s dive straight in and take a closer look.
It really doesn’t matter whether you’re an experienced casino high roller, or an absolute newcomer to the exciting world of gambling, we’re here for you! If you’re on the lookout for information about the online casinos WA residents can sign up to, we’ve got all the information you need, right here on this page.
You’re not just here hoping to find the names of some online casinos in Washington. You’ll be wanting introductions to the very best online casino in WA, and we’re here to offer you all the help and advice you could possibly need. Because whether you’re looking for suggestions for online casinos in Arkansas or Wyoming, we want you to have the best possible experience every single time you play.
Federal law has nothing much to say on the subject of online gambling, leaving individual states completely free to decide for themselves whether or not to allow it. And that’s a situation that has led to some of the most complex global laws affecting gambling, in all its various forms. Depending on which state you happen to reside in, you might be allowed to gamble at a land-based casino but not an online one. Tribal casinos may be allowed, but not other types of casinos and sportsbook betting may be permitted whereas poker isn’t.
But Washington is a little different from most other states, as we’re about to see. This means that for the moment at least, online casinos in WA are as rare as hens’ teeth! But as we’ve already mentioned, the online gambling laws are far from clear, so we have to dig a little deeper to discover what’s going on.
Gambling and Washington state law
Gambling was a widespread activity throughout the US at one time, having arrived with the earliest European settlers. Card games, particularly poker, soon became popular across North America, with other types of gambling, such a sports betting, also attracting plenty of enthusiastic bettors. But all good things come to an end, and for the state of Washington that came about in 1889 when all gambling was banned.
The human urge to make a wager is strong though, so by the time 1933 came along in the years of the Great Depression, laws were passed to allow betting on horse races. Not surprisingly, this did very little to discourage the booming underground gambling market, which was all but running out of control by the early 1970s. Corruption was rife, so Washington responded with the creation of its Gambling Commission.
By this time Washington residents were legally allowed to participate in raffles and bingo games, followed by pull tabs and Vegas-style fundraisers. Legal card rooms soon followed, and the stage seemed set for a steady relaxation of the remaining gambling laws. State lotteries were legally approved in 1982, with Congress formally permitting tribal casinos six years later. And by the start of the new millennium, Washington state was pulling in over $1 billion from gambling, almost half of it from tribal casinos.
Washington’s heavily regulated gambling industry
Bettors across the US are familiar with the ever-changing gambling laws. It’s just about impossible to find online casinos in Utah, for example, whereas online slots fans will find themselves absolutely spoilt for choice in Pennsylvania. And with more states starting to look quite favourably at the prospect of permitting online casinos to operate, the situation seems to be looking up for online players across the US.
But Washington famously has some of the strictest rules surrounding gambling, and none more so than when it comes to playing online games. It’s incredibly confusing to try to get your head around, so here’s a quick rundown on the laws as they currently stand – although we recommend checking back regularly to find out what’s new.
Bricks and mortar casinos: legally permitted
Land-based sports betting: legally permitted
Land-based bingo: legally permitted
Poker at licensed cardrooms: legally permitted
State lottery: legally permitted
Online gambling: illegal
As you can clearly see, when it comes to online gambling Washington state laws are pretty unequivocal. Online gambling, in any form, simply isn’t allowed – at least for the time being.
What are the risks?
To date, no resident of Washington state has been convicted of illegally playing at an online casino from within state lines, which is reassuring to know. And for most US states who don’t permit online casinos to operate, there’s always the possibility of signing up to an offshore operator. That gives access to all your favourite slots, table games and casino favourites without technically breaking any laws.
But Washington is the one state that’s really gone to town on its online gambling laws, and these are no mere misdemeanours we’re talking about! It’s a class B felony to aid and abet any illegal gambling operations, which is punishable by a $20,000 fine and/or up-to 10 years in jail if convicted. And profiting from illegal betting operations is a class C felony, resulting in a fine of $5,000 and up to a year in jail.
These are the strictest penalties across the entire US, so although nobody’s ever been prosecuted for playing at an offshore online casino, this is perhaps one state where you might feel that it’s simply not worth the risk. But there’s absolutely no harm in getting yourself up to speed with how online casinos operate, so you’re ready to get started as soon as WA online gambling sites are legalised.
Editor’s recommendation – the best online casino in WA
A wager, an element of chance and a prize – these are the three things that constitute gambling, according to the state of Washington. Operators have to be licensed if they want to run any kind of gambling business, with some of the strictest laws and regulations across the entire USA. That doesn’t mean gambling is prohibited though – you’re never too far from a legal land-based operation in Washington, although that’s little help when you want to enjoy playing at home.
But when looking for the best online casino in WA, unfortunately, that’s a prospect for a later date. Right now there aren’t any online casinos legally allowed to operate within the Evergreen State, and that’s simply not up for discussion. It’s the law, and the penalties are some of the harshest across the entire US. It doesn’t mean you can’t try your luck at an offshore online casino, but since online gambling is specifically banned, we’re not about to suggest you should break the law!
What we can do is give you the heads up about the top operator to aim for, once online gambling is finally permitted in Washington. And we predict that topping the list of the online casinos WA residents will be allowed to sign up with, will be the powerhouse that is BetMGM. This is an online casino that regularly tops our preferred operator list for a number of reasons. There’s an incredibly generous sign-up offer, a massive selection of games to enjoy playing, and an excellent range of deposit and withdrawal options.
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Five tips for a secure and fair gambling experience in Washington online casinos
There may not be any online casinos in Washington right now, but as history shows, things change. There’s an increasing number of states reconsidering their stance on online gambling, with Michigan and Illinois recent converts to the idea. There’s almost a domino effect going on, so we think it’s only a matter of time before there’s a choice of online casinos WA bettors can sign up to.
But just because it isn’t possible to join an online casino in Washington right now, there’s no reason not to start making plans. Once the first operators make their websites available in the Evergreen State, you’ll want to hit the ground running. But you definitely don’t want to be running headlong into trouble! So read up on our top five online gambling tips, and be ready to make the best decisions the moment you’re allowed to sign up and open an online casino account.
Check for safety issues
It’s all too easy to take things at face value online, but that can be a fast track to financial disaster when it comes to gambling. It’s relatively easy to make a casino website look sophisticated and luxurious, packed with tempting offers that sound too good to be true – which often means they are!
Keep yourself safe by making sure you undertake basic checks before signing up to an online casino. Every operator needs to have been issued with a valid license, and website security can be assured with the ‘https://’ web address prefix, together with the padlock symbol to show the site is legitimate. But of course, if you’re looking for the best online casinos WA residents will be able to play at once the legal situation changes, we’ve already done all those checks for you. All the casino operators featured on our website have been thoroughly assessed by our resident gambling experts.
Read our comprehensive operator reviews
We’re not like other review sites, here at Las Vegas How-To. Because our expert reviewers don’t just point out the good things about an online casino – we also look for the not-so-positive elements, so that we can give you a true and honest picture of our experience. We look out for the things that an online casino operator does really well, but we pinpoint any areas for improvement too, so you get the full picture of what to expect from each one.
We’re dedicated gambling fans, so we know what we’re talking about. And that gives you access to some of the most valuable information you could hope to come across online. You can trust what our experts have to say about every single operator featured on our site, so it’s easier to make informed decisions about where to play your favourite casino games online.
Read other player reviews
You can put your absolute trust in our reviews, but when it comes down to making a choice, that’s very much a matter of personal taste. We give you all the information you need to be able to make the best decisions for your circumstances but only you can know the type and style of an online casino that will best suit your needs.
We suggest picking out the top operators from our review section and visiting each one, in turn, to see what they’re like. Then, once you’ve narrowed down your choices we recommend taking a good look at what other players have to say. That will help to give a broader picture, enabling you to pick the operator likely to give you the best overall playing experience.
Check out the deposit and withdrawal options
There aren’t yet any online casinos Washington residents can legally sign up to, so at the moment it’s only possible to play at offshore casinos – and as we’ve already mentioned, that can be a risky business, given Washington’s incredibly draconian online gambling laws. We certainly don’t suggest breaking any laws, so it’s probably best to wait until the legal position in Washington changes to permit online casinos to operate within state lines.
And when that does happen, you’ll need to make sure the banking options are suitable for you. Most online casinos accept a variety of payment methods, usually including e-Wallets, bank cards and bank wire transfers. It’s important to select an operator who gives you the payment and withdrawal options that are most suitable for you, so be sure to check them out before signing up. And check the withdrawal timescales too – nobody wants to have to wait around for days before being able to access their funds!
Set wagering limits
Gambling can be great fun, with the potential to make a profit too, but that doesn’t mean you should just throw money at your online casino account. Setting sensible wagering limits is one of the most essential aspects for having a fun and enjoyable experience, so it’s a habit well worth cultivating. Decide how much you have available before the start of every single gaming session, stopping as soon as you reach your limit. And it doesn’t matter how well, or how badly, you happen to be doing at the time either – once you reach your limit it’s important to stop right there.
You may have added to your initial bankroll, or you may have seen it disappear into nothing, but it’s essential not to go chasing wins and losses. Stop when you planned to, and come back and play another day – because there’s always another day to look forward to!
What do we look for when evaluating online casino operators for Washington residents?
You can’t yet join an online casino in the Evergreen State, but that situation is bound to change at some point in the future. And when it does, you’ll be able to take full advantage of the information we provide with our in-depth operator reviews. Because make no mistake, we dig as deeply as we can into every online casino, tracking down all the important info you need to know about.
Our experts carefully consider every single aspect of the casino operator’s we review, shining a light into the murkiest corners to uncover the full facts. Read our comprehensive casino reviews to discover:
The complete pros and cons of every operator
Information about licenses and security
Payment and withdrawal options
The usability, look and feel of a site
How supportive the customer support teams really are
The types and range of the games on offer
Bonus rewards and loyalty programs
Top rated online operators
Finding your perfect online casino operator
You’re here because you’re looking for the very best online WA casinos – but as we’ve mentioned, they aren’t yet legal in Washington. With more and more states starting to welcome the idea of legalizing the online casino industry, we think it’s only a matter of time before online operators are welcomed into the Evergreen State, so it’s worth putting in some preliminary research sooner, rather than later.
We suggest starting by considering what type of gambling you enjoy the most. If it’s the traditional casino favourites that hold the most appeal, you’ll want to check out casino operators offering all the top games, including Roulette, Blackjack and Baccarat. Poker fans will want to see a great selection of table and live-dealer games, whilst slots fans will be looking for the most comprehensive selection of games available to them.
But it’s also worth considering the times of day you like to play too. Night owls will want to make sure that customer support operates round the clock, for example. And if you love the thrills and spills of a live casino, you’re definitely going to want to source an operator offering Live Dealer gaming options.
Conclusion: finding the best online casinos WA has to offer
Here at Las Vegas How-To, we’re constantly striving to improve the service we offer to gambling fans across the US. So whether you’re searching for the top online casinos in New Hampshire, or the finest online casinos Oregon has to offer, we’ve got all the information and resources you need to make the right decisions for you.
Online casinos aren’t yet permitted within Washington state lines, and the laws surrounding online gambling are much more strict than in any of the other US states. But times change, and we’re hopeful that new laws will eventually be passed, allowing Washington residents to enjoy online gambling without fear of prosecution. Rest assured that when that day comes, we’re ready and waiting to help you enjoy gambling at the top sites accessible to Washington gambling fans.
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Online casinos Washington FAQs
🎲 Can I legally gamble online in Washington state?
When it comes to online casinos Washington laws are a little unusual. This is the only state with an outright ban on online gambling, so it’s important to stay within the boundaries of the law. Read our complete article to discover everything you need to know about gambling online in the Evergreen State – and help yourself to some generous bonuses at the same time!
🎱 Which are the best online casinos WA has to offer?
The legal position for online gambling in Washington is more cut and dried than most, which creates potential problems for fans of the activity. Read what we have to say, then discover what makes a great online casino with the help of our informative articles and casino reviews. We’ve got absolutely everything you need to know right here, so come and take a look!
🎰 What gambling activities are legally permitted in Washington state?
Laws surrounding gambling in the US are notoriously complex, and nowhere more so than in the Evergreen State. Read what we have to say before deciding where to gamble online in Washington, to make sure you keep within the law. We’ve got all the info you need to make sure your gambling session stays legal, so don’t think about playing until you’ve read our complete article.
Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
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