Washington State Gambling Commission Shuts Down Online Pull-Tab Games

An investigation by Special Agents with the Washington State Gambling Commission has shut down illegal pull-tab games operating on Facebook.

The agency received a tip about the game that claimed a Sedro Woolley woman was running the operation. A Special Agent assigned to the case was able to observe the woman selling pull-tabs during three different live events - 6/7/2021, 6/21/2021, and
6/28/2021. She used a $2 pull-tab game with the name of, Raise the Ante. The agent could see the name of the pull-tab manufacturer was American Games, a company that holds a current manufacturer license with the WSGC.

During these live events, people could watch live while she opened the tabs. The players chatted via text with the woman who responded verbally. The players would state how many tabs they wanted to buy and then they paid through online wallets Venmo or Cash App. The players would state where they sent the money, and the woman would then check her phone to verify that she received the money. Players could also have their names placed on a spinning wheel for additional pull-tabs for every $100 they spent.

When the agent contacted the woman, she admitted her participation. Further investigation revealed an additional suspect in Mount Vernon and one in Ferndale. All the participants admitted taking part.

The suspects identified a woman in Florida as the retail seller of the pull-tabs. That information was also confirmed by Shed Capital, a New Jersey based distributor.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement began in investigation into the woman identified as the retail seller of the pull-tabs.
The suspects in Washington state agreed to shut down the illegal games. No criminal charges were filed because they ceased the illegal activity and cooperated with the Gambling Commission and its investigation.

The investigation shut down three private groups on Facebook that were encouraging illegal gambling, profiting from it and teaching people how to do it. At least 12,000 members in the three groups combined were participating from all over the United States.