Frequently Asked Questions

Licensing - Organizations

What is a UBI Number?

A UBI Number is the Unified Business Identifier number assigned by the Department of Revenue used to identify your business. It is a nine-digit number that typically begins with the number six.

What is an IRS Exemption code?

An IRS Exemption code is a 501c status code issued to a non-profit/charitable organization by the Internal Revenue Service.

Our CEO is the Chairman of the Board and not the President. Who should sign the application?

WAC rule requires the Highest Ranking Officer/Official sign the application. If the Chairman of the Board is the highest-ranking officer/official, then he/she is required to sign the application.

The President (or equivalent) is not associated with the gambling activity in our organization; why does he/she need to sign the application?

WAC 230-03-040 requires the highest-ranking officer/official of a charitable, nonprofit organization sign the application.

I received renewal notices for a Punchboard/Pull Tab license and I am operating at a class lower than what I am currently licensed for. Can our business renew at the lower class, and what is the procedure for doing this?

First we must receive verification that you are operating at a lower class. The gross gambling receipts must be provided to the Washington State Gambling Commission (WSGC) up until this point. They may be faxed if time is a critical factor. If it can be proven that the business is operating at a lower class by providing the gross receipts, we will be able to renew at the lower class. This can be done after submitting a completed renewal application and correct fees to our headquarters office prior to the expiration date.

Is it necessary to be a commercial stimulant Food & Drink business in order to hold a gambling license for Punchboard/Pull tabs?

Yes. If you should add additional business activities within your food & drink business, you will need to notify us in writing what the percentage of your business it will be. Per RCW 9.46.0217 and WAC 230-03-175 your business must be primarily engaged in food and/or drink for on premises consumption.

How long will it take to get a license?

Our average processing time is sixty days from the date a completed application is received. The length of time needed for processing depends on the complexity of the file, and what type of license you apply for. The time factor is also dependent on the applicant and how quickly requested information is provided. The amount of time needed also depends whether or not the type of application applied for will have to go before the commission prior to receiving a license. The initial request for additional information requires that the information be returned within 20 days from the receipt of the letter. Any follow up letters will allow no more than 10 days to return the requested information. Failure to respond to a letter may result in your file being administratively closed.

How long does it take to process an application for a House Banked card room?

Again, this depends primarily on the applicant. If the business is ready to begin operations and has completed every phase of the Internal controls, and provided everything requested in a timely manner, then it could be as little as 90 days. However, each applicant must pass pre-operational review conducted by Field Operations staff and the Financial Investigations Unit (FIU). All requested licensing information must have been received and approved prior to commission approval. Finally, all phases of requirements will be brought before the Commission in the form of a report presented by the Administrator. A business representative will be asked to attend the Commission meeting to answer any questions that the Commissioners might have regarding the business establishment.

If I’m in the process of selling my business and I receive a renewal notice for full fees at the class that I am currently operating. Can I get a refund of the fees I over paid since I won’t be operating a full year?

There is no refund for discontinuing your business per WAC 230-05-001.

I am thinking about selling my business. How can I make sure that there is no down time for gambling activities for the buyer when the purchase closing is completed?

The Purchase Agreement for the purchase of your business should be written with a contingency clause that states, "closing will be upon approval of the gambling license". The Gambling Commission will then complete the normal processing of the application without the closing documentation. Once our investigation is complete, a commitment letter is sent to the buyer stating that they are approved for a gambling license, pending receipt of the closing documents. The buyer is instructed in the letter to advise the Technician processing their file at least 48 hours prior to closing, so that a license may be prepared for the new owners. The new owners may pick up the license or have it mailed, once the closing documents have been reviewed and approved by the Technician. In all cases, the previous owner's gambling license becomes invalid upon closing.

Can I pay my gambling license fees at my local Gambling Commission office?

No. All application fees are required to be sent through the U.S. Postal service or delivery service to the WSGC headquarters office, or paid over the counter at the Lacey headquarters office. Neither your local special agent, nor the field offices are authorized to accept licensing fees or fines.

What happens if your check is returned for NSF check charges during the licensing process?

If your check is returned as NSF after it has been deposited twice, then the license that you received will become invalid. You may not conduct any gambling activity until you have paid the license fee with a cashiers check, money order, or cash (if paid over the counter) at the Lacey headquarters office. In addition, there will be a $30.00 NSF check charge that must be paid at the time you submit the licensing fees. If you submitted an application and your check is returned, no further work will be done on your file until all fees are paid along with a $30.00 NSF check charge.

When am I required to submit a stock change?

A stock change and fee is required anytime you are selling stock and new substantial interest holders of one or more persons will result in a change of 10 to 50 percent of the stock. If you are selling over 50% of the stock in a corporation to someone who has never held 10% or more stock in the corporation a brand new application is required. WAC 230-06-107, WAC 230-03-045, WAC 230-03-030, WAC 230-06-108 and WAC 230-03-050.

What is required to apply for a gambling license?

If you are applying for a commercial business the first and foremost requirement is that gambling is a commercial stimulant for food and/or drink establishments. Before application is accepted, you must have ownership of food and/or drink establishment. (RCW 9.46.0217 Commercial Stimulant)

If you own a restaurant, tavern or bar and have a Liquor license then you may be able to qualify for a gambling license. We can send you a copy of the Commercial Stimulant application or you may want to download it from our website.

Will the Commission issue a gambling license to an applicant who has a food and/or drink business in a city with a moratorium?

The answer is yes. Currently, we will issue a license to applicants who are located in cities or counties with partial moratoriums or partial bans. Our statute requires us to issue licenses without prejudice unless a city or county prohibits a gambling activity completely.

We would however, send a letter to the city or county notifying them that we have an application in process and a letter to the applicant notifying them of the moratorium issues. We would request a response in writing to ensure that the applicant is aware of the city or county partial moratorium or ban and ask the applicant if they want to continue the processing of their application or withdraw.

The city or county may not issue licenses or permits to that particular type of business within their jurisdiction. It would be up to the applicant to work that out with their local city or county.

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Page last updated 01/09/2014 11:13 AM
Washington State Gambling Commission

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