Washington is a true sports state with more than six professional teams in North American major leagues. It’s no shocker that there’s a high demand for sports betting in Washington, and while it’s still deemed an illegal activity, residents can now place wagers on professional or college games in a safe manner. Find out how in our latest state-by-state state review, looking at the rules and regulations in America.
Washington Online Sports Betting
With only four states in American legally allowed to take part in sports gambling, the rest of the country has desperately sought out other forms of placing wagers on pro games. We are breaking down the sports betting rules and regulations for all 50 states and in this instalment, we look at the laws in Washington.
The nation’s capital state — once considered to be one of the toughest on betting laws in America — has come a long way in the gambling industry.
Washington made headlines in 2006 for making it a felony to play online casino games and poker.
Today, the state features several casinos — 28 to be exact — which are all based on Indian reservations. Most of these casinos are found in the western part of the state, near the Tacoma-Seattle area.
In addition, Washington allows horse and dog racing wagers and it also runs a popular state lottery. Social gambling and charitable gaming, such as bingos, are also permitted. However, daily fantasy sports leagues and online gambling are not legal.
Washington’s gambling laws are geared towards cracking down on those who operate unlicensed forms of gaming and bookmaking. A Class B Felony can result in a 10-year prison sentence and/or a $20,000 fine.
Under strict federal and state guidelines, sports gambling is also heavily enforced in Washington. That doesn’t mean residents in the state have to be forced to the sidelines when it comes to placing bets on professional or college sporting events.
There is no language in federal or state law that prevents residents in Washington — or any other state that enforces sports gambling for that matter — from using offshore, Internet-based sportsbooks. These bookmakers are fully licensed within their countries and legal for U.S. customers to tap into.
Below, you will find a couple to consider using before jumping into the online sports betting world.
Legal Washington Betting Sites & Online Sportsbooks
For anyone that lives or even visits Washington will quickly find out it’s a sports-centric state with passionate fans — especially when it comes to football.
There is a heavy following for the Washington Redskins — a team that has captured three Super Bowl championships, with the last coming in 1991. The Washington Nationals, Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards are other popular major league sports teams in the state. Others include teams in Seattle such as the 2013 Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Mariners. The Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer won the championship in 2016 and also a professional team many residents in the state enjoy putting their money on.
With such a rich sports history in Washington, it comes as no real surprise that there’s a high demand in the state to place wagers on professional and college sports. While it’s illegal to do so using traditional brick and mortar bookmakers within Washington boundaries, residents can now use offshore, Internet-based sportsbooks.
Choosing a credible offshore sportsbook may be the single-most important decision you’ll have to make during the process. Bovada.lv and BetOnline.com are among the industry leaders in online sports betting and websites that attract millions of U.S. customers on a regular basis.
Laying down a wager on any of the Washington-based clubs has never been easier as with one click of the mouth or swipe of a mobile device, residents can now place anything from a money line bet to more complex point spread or over/under odds.
Horse racing is a popular pastime in Washington and while it is perfectly legal to take part in wagering at in-state tracks, websites such as Bovada and BetOnline offer full-fledged horse books with odds from tracks around the world.