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Home » Sports Wagering » Sports Wagering Frequently Asked Questions

Sports Wagering Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t I play “free” sports betting apps?

This is a business decision made by the developer of the app. You should contact them.

Is any type of sports wagering legal?

In 1973, when the Gambling Act was first passed, 100-square sports pool boards were authorized. Bracket pools, office sports pools, and fantasy sports have never been authorized as gambling activities in Washington State and are illegal.

When will Washington launch retail sportsbooks at tribal casinos?

Several casinos currently offer retail sports wagering at their facility. Other tribes are expected to start offering sports wagering in the near future.

Will tribal sportsbooks be allowed to accept wagers through a mobile app and/or the Internet?

Washington’s new sports wagering law and approved tribal-state compact amendments allow for mobile sports wagering. The specifics on betting through mobile apps or the Internet and where those wagers can be placed while at a tribal casino will be determined by each tribe.

What events and wagers are allowed under Washington’s new sports wagering law?

Washington’s new sports wagering law authorizes sports wagering on all professional and collegiate sports and events, except for minor leagues, Olympics or international sports, in-state collegiate sports and esports. Authorized Sports Wagering Menu is on our website. Each tribal casino will determine what bets they would like to offer. Please contact the tribal casino directly to determine their specific offerings.

I am a sports wagering business wishing to enter the Washington market, can I start the license application process now?

Yes, sports wagering vendor applications are available online through Secure Access Washington (SAW).

What is the cost of a sports wagering license?

Sports Wagering Major Vendor - $65,000 annually

Sports Wagering Mid-Level Vendor - $10,000 annually

Sports Wagering Ancillary Vendor - $5,000 annually

The applicant will also be responsible for the cost of the licensing investigation.

How do I know if my sports pool is legal (RCW 9.46.0335)?

Sports pools are allowed under Washington state law as long as: (1) the board is based on a single athletic event, (2) the board is divided into 100 equal squares, (3) numbers representing game scores are randomly assigned to squares, and (4) you must charge no more than $1 per square. Only one sports board is allowed per sporting event, per business or party. Both businesses and individuals can conduct sports boards within strict limitation.

Is bookmaking (sports book) legal in Washington?

No. "Bookmaking" means accepting bets upon the outcome of future contingent events, as a business or in which the bettor is charged a fee or "vigorish" for the opportunity to place a bet. This is illegal and would be considered professional gambling. Professional gambling statutes range from first degree (class B felony) to third degree (gross misdemeanor) depending on several factors, including the amount of money and persons involved.

Can I bet on my favorite horse?

Bets placed on horses follow different laws. For laws specific to betting on horse racing, please contact the Washington State Horse Racing Commission.

I won money on a sports bet, but the bookie won't pay. What do I do?

If the bet was placed with a bookie, it is an illegal bet and you have no legal recourse; however, you can anonymously report the bookie and other illegal sports betting activity using our online tool.