Sports wagering requirements and rules

Learn what Washington law requires of tribal casinos that offer sports wagering, and see what kinds of sports wagering are illegal in Washington.

In March 2020, Governor Inslee signed House Bill 2638, which "authoriz[es] sports wagering on a very limited basis by restricting it to tribal casinos" with amended Class III compacts in the state of Washington. Washington law also allows 100-square sports pool boards.

See a list of sports wagering activities that Washington allows (also known as the Sports Wagering Menu).

Requirements for tribal casinos that offer sports wagering

  • The Sportsbook must be located within a tribe’s gaming facility
  • No gaming employee may advise or encourage patrons to place a sports wager of any specific type, kind, subject, or amount*
  • Each gaming operation must use a geofence to ensure that that patrons can only place mobile sports wagers while they are physically on the premises
  • Gaming operations must post a list of wagers patrons may place
  • Sports wagers are not transferrable between patrons.

*Note: This restriction doesn't apply to the following:

  • General advertising
  • Promotional activities
  • Answering general questions about sports wagers.

Wagering that Washington law prohibits

Gaming operations may not accept wagers on:

  • Collegiate sport events that a Washington collegiate institution offers or sponsors
  • Collegiate athletic event that a Washington collegiate institution offers or sponsors
  • Collegiate sports or athletics events that take place in Washington
  • Minor league sports
  • E-sports
  • Events where the outcome has already been determined ("past postings").

The Final Four tournament and the associated bracket pools increased in popularity after 1979 when ESPN aired the tournament on television for the first time. However, Washington law has never allowed:

  • Bracket pools
  • Office sports pools
  • Fantasy sports.


"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.

If you placed and won a bet with a bookie and they refuse to pay, you have no legal recourse, as it was an illegal bet. However, you can anonymously the bookie using our report illegal gambling activity tool.

“Free” sports betting apps

These app developers have made the decision to not offer their services to people in Washington. Contact the owners of these apps if you have specific questions.

Prohibited sports wagering participants

Each gaming operation will make all reasonable efforts to confirm that any patron seeking to engage in sports wagering is not a prohibited sports wagering participant, such as:

  • Anyone under 18 years of age
  • Anyone placing a wager as an agent or proxy
  • Any person which the gaming operation knows or reasonably should know, is placing a wager by, or on behalf of a prohibited sports wagering participant
  • Any athlete whose performance may be used to determine, in whole or in part, the outcome of such wagering
  • Any person with access to material, exclusive, non-public confidential information about a sports event that is the subject of such wagering
  • Any person who holds a position of authority or influence sufficient to exert influence over the participants in a sports event that is the subject of a wager
  • Any person whose participation may undermine the integrity of wagering on a sports event or the conduct of such sports event itself
  • Any person identified by a sport's governing body that the Tribal Gaming Agency and Washington State Gambling Commission agree is a person who should be a prohibited sports wagering participant
  • Any person who is prohibited for other good cause.

Prohibited sports wagering participants also include anyone who is associated with a sports event which the sport's governing body oversees, such as:

  • Athletes
  • Players
  • Coaches
  • Managers
  • Referees or other game officials
  • Physicians
  • Trainers
  • Team employees or governing body employees.


The Washington State Gambling Commission does not regulate horse racing or enforce horse racing laws. For information about betting on horse races, contact the Washington State Horse Racing Commission.