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Home » Regulation & Enforcement » Gambling Bans

Gambling Bans

Cities and counties may prohibit any or all gambling activities, but may not change the scope of activities allowed by a gambling license.

Since house-banked card rooms were introduced in 1997, approximately 70 jurisdictions have banned card rooms. Local governments can specify which type of card room (house-banked, poker and/or charitable/non-profit) they want to ban in their local ordinance.

Authority to zone card rooms in certain areas, and allow existing card rooms but prohibit new ones (grandfathering) has been the subject of much debate and several lawsuits. There have also been several public votes about whether card rooms should be allowed in particular cities.

The Commission’s interpretation of the law is that local governments can only “absolutely prohibit” gambling activities; therefore, zoning, partial bans, and some of the other partial approaches are not allowed.  

For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of cities and counties where some or all gambling activities are prohibited. For the most up-to-date information on ordinances, please contact jurisdictions directly.

Cities Prohibiting Gambling Activities

City Reason

Algona *

Zoning Restrictions

Arlington *

Zoning Restrictions for card rooms.

Auburn *

New Commercial Card Rooms, effective 7-5-99.  Grandfathered as of 6-7-99.

Battle Ground

Commercial Card Rooms, and Nonprofit Card Rooms that charge fees, effective 11-2-87.

Bellevue

Commercial Card Rooms, effective 1-14-93.

Bonney Lake

Commercial Card Rooms, effective 5-19-99.

Bothell

Commercial and Nonprofit Card Rooms, effective in 2000, but similar in wording to 1984 version.

Brier

Punchboards and Pull-Tabs; Commercial and Nonprofit Card Rooms.

Burien *

Commercial Card Rooms, effective 6-21-99, by specifically prohibiting them in all zones.  Card rooms allowed to continue operation as non-conforming use, but could not expand without a conditional use permit.

Camas

Commercial Card Rooms, effective 1975.

Carnation

Commercial Card Rooms, effective 1999.

Chelan

Commercial Card Rooms, effective 2000.

Clyde Hill

Punchboards and Pull-Tabs; Commercial and Nonprofit Card Rooms, effective 1974.

Covington

Commercial Card Rooms, effective 10-29-98.

Dupont

Commercial and Nonprofit Card Rooms, effective 1999.

Edgewood

Commercial Card Rooms, effective 9-7-99.  Ordinance Revised: Commercial Card Rooms Banned, effective 2-11-03.

Edmonds

Commercial Card Rooms, effective 9-29-00.

Enumclaw

Commercial and Nonprofit Card Rooms, effective 2-3-99.

Everett *

New Card Rooms in Everett Station area, effective 4-9-03. “Mini-casinos” prohibited within Everett Station Area, while

grandfathering existing in place & allowing card rooms in other city zones, effective 9-26-03.

Federal Way *

Zoning restrictions.

Fife *

Six month moratoriums on New Card Rooms, from 5-23-00.

New Card Rooms, effective 11-1-01, allowing existing card room to continue.

Fircrest

Commercial Card Rooms, effective 4-19-00.

Gig Harbor

Commercial Card Rooms, effective 7-18-99.

Grandview

House-Banked Card Rooms, Commercial Bingo operations. [Unlicensed bingo, under $5,000/yr proceeds OK]

Ilwaco *

Zoning Restrictions.

Issaquah *

Commercial Card Rooms, Amusement Devices, effective 1977. However, crane type amusement games are allowed, effective 5-21-12.

Kenmore *

Commercial Card Rooms, effective 12-29-05.

Kent

Commercial Card Rooms, effective 7-4-99.

Kirkland

Commercial Card Rooms, effective 1999.

La Center

Parking lot development must be on-site, effective 7-21-99.

Lacey *

New Card Rooms, effective 12-2-99.

18-24 months allowed for one applicant to build and open.

Lake Forest Park

Punchboards and Pull-Tabs; Commercial and Nonprofit Card Rooms; FRE's; Bingo for which a gambling license is required, effective 6-25-

95. Re-affirmed 6-27-00, when 60-day moratorium expired without changing 1995 ordinance.

Lake Stevens

House-Banked Card Rooms, effective 2-28-11.

Longview *

New Commercial House-Banked Card Rooms, effective 12-29-12.

Lynden *

Punchboards and Pull-Tabs; Commercial and Nonprofit Card Rooms; Profit Seeking Amusement Games, effective 2-18-75.

Lynnwood

Commercial Card Rooms, effective 1998.

Maple Valley

Commercial card games, effective 12-9-12.

Marysville

New card room moratoriums began 7-12-99. Commercial Card Rooms, effective 7-17-00.

Mercer Island

Punchboards and Pull-Tabs; Commercial Card Rooms, effective 1991.

Mill Creek

Commercial Card Rooms, effective 1/1/98.

Milton

Commercial and Nonprofit Card Rooms, effective 9-14-99.

Monroe

Commercial Card Rooms, effective 7-6-08.

Mukilteo

Commercial and Nonprofit Card Games, effective 5-10-99.

Newcastle

Commercial and Nonprofit Card Rooms, and Commercial Punchboard/Pull-Tabs, effective 5-4-99.  City Name changed from Newport Hills to Newcastle, incorporated 9-30-94.

Normandy Park

All Gambling Activities. Exceptions that are allowed:

  1. commercial stimulant Punchboards/Pull-Tabs, or
  2. charitable/nonprofit activities per RCW 9.46.0311.

North Bend *

Commercial & Nonprofit Card Rooms, passed 5-6-08.

Port Orchard

Prior moratorium.

Commercial House-Banked Card Rooms, effective 8-13-01.

Puyallup

Commercial Card Rooms, effective 6-30-99.

Rainier

Prior moratoriums on Card Rooms, from 7-11-01.

Commercial Punchboards/Pull-Tabs and Commercial Card Rooms, effective 9-27-02.

Redmond *

Punchboards prohibited (but pull-tabs allowed). Commercial Card Rooms, effective 5-15-99.

Renton *

Card Room zoning restrictions, effective 12-10-97. Punchboard prohibition repealed, on 4-16-07.

Richland *

Prior moratorium on new House Banked Card Rooms within 500 ft. of any school, from 3-5-02. (Existing facilities not restricted).

Then, new House Banked Card Rooms must meet specific locational zoning criteria: 500 ft. from residential zones, any public or private

K-12 school, public playground or park existing at time of application, effective 8-12-02.  September 2002 citizen’s initiative which would have banned house-banked card rooms (while allowing existing ones to operate for 5 years) failed 64% to 36%. City currently restricts new card rooms to certain zones.

Ridgefield

Commercial Public Card Rooms, effective 1987.

Ruston

House-Banked Card Room ban was repealed 1-3-11.

Seattle

Commercial Card Rooms, effective 10-2-74.

Shoreline *

Zoning Restrictions: New Gambling prohibited, expansion of an existing nonconforming gambling use subject to approval and Special Use Permit, from 12-18-00.

Snohomish *

Commercial House-Banked Card Rooms, effective September 2014. Commercial Amusement Games, except for occasional community- wide annual event, effective 2013.

Bingo/Raffles, if over City’s number of sessions or dollar limits. Raffle, if over $1 per ticket.

Snoqualmie

Commercial Card Rooms, effective 1974.

Sumner

Commercial Card Rooms and Commercial Amusement Games, effective 4-12-00. [Exempts members-only nonprofit activity from the prohibition, per RCW 9.46.0311.]

Sunnyside

Prior moratorium on new or expanded Card Rooms, from 6-3-02. House-Banked Commercial Card Rooms, effective 11-30-02.

Tacoma

Commercial Card Rooms, effective 10-5-99. Card rooms operating before 4-6-99 moratorium could continue to 1-1-2006.  [Legal action and 2006 initiative election did not change prohibition of commercial card rooms.]

Tumwater

Commercial House-Banked Card Rooms, effective 6-6-00.

University Place

Social Card Rooms, effective 1999.

Vancouver

Commercial Card Rooms, took effect 1-1-85.

Washougal

Commercial Card Rooms, effective 1983.

Wenatchee

House-Banked Card Rooms, passed 5-25-99.

Re-stated prohibition for the period 4-5-01 thru 9-28-01, for advisory vote.

House-Banked Card Rooms, passed 9-20-01.

Woodinville

Commercial and Nonprofit Card Rooms, effective 3-31-93.

Yacolt *

Commercial and Nonprofit Card Rooms (only exception is that non- house-banked Class D card rooms are allowed); effective 6-4-07.

Yakima *

Zoning Restrictions.  Commercial Card Rooms not permitted within 500 ft. of public/private schools, churches, parks, effective 12-1-02. , (see YMC 15.02.020 for city’s “social card room” definition)

Plus, City's “Class 3 Review” for card room zoning, effective 1-12-03.

Zillah *

Zoning restrictions, effective 7-16-07.

 

Counties Prohibiting Gambling Activities

County Reason

Clark

Public Card Rooms

 

NOTE:  The following cities are incorporated and are not affected by CLARK COUNTY prohibition.  See table of cities for individual prohibitions of gambling activities.

Battleground, Camas, LaCenter, Vancouver, Washougal, Yacolt, Ridgefield

Pierce

New Commercial Card Rooms, voted on 7-13-99. Grandfathered until 8-15-2002.

Commercial Card Game ban, as of 10-15-02.

Skamania *

Commercial Card Rooms prohibited, except within establishments authorized by WSGC to sell pull-tabs.

Thurston

Prior moratorium from 11-29-99. Commercial Card Rooms, effective 5-22-00.

 

* If there is an application from this jurisdiction, contact WSGC at 360-486-3440 ext 2332. (Note: “Public” or “Social” card room, see RCW 9.46.0282, 9.46.0311, WAC 230-15-001, 230-15-015)