Commercial activities that don't require a license

Commercial businesses may offer several activities without applying for a gambling license.

Dice and coin contests

Per RCW 9.46.0305, a commercial food or drink establishment may allow patrons to roll dice or flip coins for food, drink or coin-operated music purchases only. Patrons must never be allowed to roll dice for money.

Bowling sweepstakes

Per (RCW 9.46.0345), bowling establishments may offer 2 sweepstakes without applying for a gambling license:

Bowling sweepstakes #1

  • Players contribute to a pool
  • Rules must be posted
  • Players knock down marked pins in specified positions
  • Owner does not participate in proceeds from prize fund
  • Records are open to public inspection.

Bowling sweepstakes #2

  • Players purchase tickets at no more than $1 each
  • Rules are posted
  • A drawing is held from the tickets purchased
  • Winner of drawing must bowl a strike
  • All money goes to the winner or to charity
  • Records are available for inspection by participants, Gambling Commission agents, or other law enforcement representatives.

100-Square sports pool board

Per RCW 9.46.0335, 100-square sports pool boards are authorized under restricted conditions.

Trivia and skill games

Commercial businesses may award a prize for high score only if an electronic amusement or video game requires skill instead of a chance to win. Skills games are not a gambling activity.


Per RCW 9.46.0356, commercial businesses may offer promotional contests of chance to promote their products and services. There must always be a way for anyone to enter the contest for free.

For more information, see our page on promotional contests of chance.

Antique slot machines

Per RCW 9.46.235, antique slot machine are acceptable if the machine is:

  • At least 25-years-old
  • Free to play
  • Is not operated for gambling purposes.