Sports wagering is illegal in Washington State except at Tribal casinos with amended Class III compacts following the passage of House Bill 2638 in March 2020.
100-square sports pool boards are also permitted under restricted conditions.
In March 2020 House Bill 2638 was signed by Governor Jay Inslee “authorizing sports wagering on a very limited basis by restricting it to tribal casinos in the state of Washington.”
The Sportsbook must be located within a Tribe’s Gaming Facility.
Each Gaming Operation must use a Geofence to ensure that all Mobile Sports Wagering occur within the Premises.
A list of Sports Wagers available at the Gaming Operation will be made available to its patrons.
The State Gaming Agency will post the Authorized Sports Wagering Menu on its website.
No Gaming Operation may accept any Sports Wager on a Collegiate Sport Event or Collegiate Athletic Event offered or sponsored by a Washington collegiate institution.
No Gaming Operation may accept any Sports Wager on a Minor League sport.
Sports Wagers are not transferrable between patrons.
No Gaming Employee may advise or encourage patrons to place a Sports Wager of any specific type, kind, subject, or amount. This restriction does not prohibit general advertising, promotional activities, or answering general questions about Sports Wagers.
No Gaming Operation will knowingly accept a Sports Wager on an event where the outcome has already been determined (past posting).
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.
Prohibited Sports Wagering Participant means:
Any individual under 18 years of age.
Any individual placing a wager as an agent or proxy.
Any athlete whose performance may be used to determine, in whole or in part, the outcome of such wagering.
Any person who is an athlete, player, coach, manager, referee or other game official, physician, trainer, team employee or governing body employee, in any sports event overseen by such person’s Sports Governing Body.
Any person with access to material, exclusive, non-public confidential information about a sports event that is the subject of such wagering.
Any person identified by a Sports Governing Body that the Tribal Gaming Agency and State Gaming Agency agree is a person who should be a Prohibited Sports Wagering Participant.
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 which the Gaming Operation knows or reasonably should know, is placing a wager by, or on behalf of a Prohibited Sports Wagering DRAFT Participant; and Any person whose participation may undermine the integrity of wagering on a sports event or the conduct of such sports event itself, or any person who is prohibited for other good cause.
100-Square Sports Pool Boards
In 1973, when the Gambling Act was first passed, 100-square sports pool boards were authorized.
The NCAA basketball “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, bracket pools, office sports pools, and fantasy sports have never been authorized as gambling activities in Washington State and are illegal.
Both businesses and individuals may offer 100-square sports pool boards. Strict rules must be followed when offering them:
- Each business or individual may offer only one board on any single athletic event
- The board must be divided into 100 squares
- You may charge up to $1 per square
- Each player must be charged the same entry fee
- Each player picks a square and their name is written in the square
- Numbers representing game scores are randomly assigned to each square
You should develop and post house rules for how the sports pool board will be operated. For example, a deadline for collecting prize money, winner identification, requirements for someone other than a winner collecting a prize, what will happen if there is a tie, and how money will be distributed if a winning square is not sold.
The sports pool board must be available for inspection by anyone purchasing a square, Gambling Commission agents, and other law enforcement representatives.
These limitations apply to all sporting events equally (Super Bowl, Final Four, etc.).
It is illegal to have a sports pool board where you:
- Have more than one board per athletic event
- Offer anything other than 100 squares
- Charge more than $1 per square