Introduction to Washington Slot Machine Casino Gambling
Washington slot machine casino gambling exists at tribal casinos in the form of electronic “scratch” ticket games. Each of the 29 federally recognized Native American tribes in Washington have negotiated a state-tribal compact to offer gambling at their casinos.
With regards to slots, initial lengthy negotiations resulted in a secondary lottery system for tribes, making slots in Washington a type of video lottery terminal.
Further, all of these compacts established a minimum payout return of 75% and a maximum wager of $5. Over time, this maximum wager was increased to $20, but limited to 15% of electronic gaming machines.
None of the tribes in Washington state are required to release actual payout returns for their slots.
For those interested in non-slots gambling, Washington state’s 30 casinos offer a wide variety of table game options.
This post continues the weekly blog series “Slot Machine Casino Gambling, State-By-State“, a year-long online resource project dedicated to guiding slot machine gambling enthusiasts to success.
Relevant Legal Statutes on Gambling*
The minimum legal age for casino gambling in Washington is most often 21 but sometimes is 18, depending upon the casino establishment. It is always 18 for pari-mutual wagering, the lottery, and bingo.
Having this style of slot machines, which are actually “scratch” ticket electronic games, is a result of early state-tribal gaming compact negotiations. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1988, the State of Washington and its tribes could not agree on whether slot machines should be legal in Washington.
After a significant negotiation process, in late 1997 it was agreed by both sides that the type of slots to be provided by tribal casinos would be modeled after the state lottery. This gaming system, essentially video lottery terminals, is identified as the Tribal Lottery System (TLS).
Several appendices have subsequently been approved, including allowing an increase in the maximum wager from $5 to $20 on 15% of all electronic gaming machines. Along with a few other changes, such as allowing cash-in at these machines, the maximum number of “slot machines” allowed by tribe and gambling facility has been increased. Specifically,, the cap on video lottery terminals per gambling facility increased from 1,500 to 2,500.
*The purpose of this section is to inform the public of state gambling laws and how the laws apply to various forms of gambling. This information is not intended to provide legal advice.
Slot Machine Private Ownership
It is legal to privately own a slot machine in the state of Washington if it is 25 years old or older, is played at no cost, and is not operated for gambling purposes.
State Gaming Commission
The Washington State Gambling Commission is devoted to gambling licensing, regulation, and enforcement within Washington state. On their website, they state:
“Through collaboration with local, state, federal, tribal and international law enforcement agencies, we work to fulfill our legislative declaration of: (1) Keeping the criminal element out of gambling, and (2) Promoting social welfare through strict regulation and control.”
Washington state and its 29 federally-recognized Native American tribes have successfully negotiated state-tribal gaming compacts. These approved compacts allow Class III Las Vegas-style gaming at gambling establishments within the state of Washington.
There are 30 Native American tribal casinos available in the state of Washington with more than 30,000 video lottery terminal style slot machines and more than 1,100 table games.
The largest casino in Washington is the Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn, 20 miles south of Seattle. It has 3,125 gaming machines and 75 table games. The second largest is Tulalip Casino, located 30 miles north of Seattle, having 2,200 gaming machines and 39 table games.
Information about each of the 30 casinos in Washington state follows. In addition, this convenient downloadable list also includes any available casino website links:
- Angel of the Winds Casino in Arlington, located 50 miles north of Seattle.
- BJ’s Bingo in Fife, near Tacoma.
- Chewelah Casino in Chewelah, located 50 miles north of Spokane.
- Coulee Dam Casino in Coulee Dam, located 40 miles north of Seattle.
- Elwha River Casino in Port Angeles, located 70 miles northwest of Seattle by ferry.
- Emerald Queen Hotel & Casino at Fife in Fife, near Tacoma.
- Emerald Queen Casino at I-5 in Tacoma.
- Ilani Casino Resort in Ridgefield, located 20 miles north of Vancouver, Washington.
- Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, located 23 miles north of Olympia.
- Lucky Dog Casino in Skokomish, located 23 miles north of Olympia.
- Lucky Eagle Casino in Rochester, located 26 miles south of Olympia.
- Mill Bay Casino in Manson, located 200 miles northeast of Seattle on the north shore of Lake Chelan.
- Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn, located 20 miles south of Seattle.
- Nooksack Northwood Casino in Lynden, located 14 miles north of Bellingham.
- Northern Quest Resort & Casino in Airway Heights, located 10 miles west of Spokane.
- The Point Casino in Kingston, located 18 miles west of Seattle via Bainbridge Ferry.
- Quil Ceda Creek Nightclub & Casino in Tulalip, located 30 miles north of Seattle.
- Quinault Beach Resort and Casino in Ocean Shores, located 90 miles west of Tacoma.
- Red Wind Casino in Olympia.
- 7 Cedars Casino in Sequim, located 70 miles northwest of Seattle by ferry.
- Shoalwater Bay Casino in Tokeland, located 75 miles southwest of Olympia.
- Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa in Ferndale, located 17 miles north of Bellingham.
- Skagit Valley Casino Resort in Bow, located 75 miles north of Seattle.
- Snoqualmie Casino in Snoqualmie, located 30 miles east of Seattle.
- Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort in Suquamish, located 15 miles west of Seattle via Bainbridge Ferry.
- Swinomish Casino & Lodge in Anacortes, located 70 miles north of Seattle.
- Tulalip Casino in Tulalip, located 30 miles north of Seattle.
- 12 Tribes Casino in Omak, located 165 miles northeast of Seattle.
- Two Rivers Casino & Resort in Davenport, located 60 miles west of Spokane.
- Yakama Legends Casino in Toppenish, located 20 miles south of Yakama.
Summary of Washington Slot Machine Casino Gambling
Washington slot machine casino gambling consists of tribal casinos with video lottery terminal (VLT) style slot machines run by a tribal lottery system, which is separate from the state-run lottery system.
Over 30,000 of these VLT-style slot machines are collectively offered by Washington’s 29 federally recognized tribes. According to the negotiated state-tribal compacts, their minimum payout is 75%. Also, their maximum wager is $5, but has been legally allowed to be raised to $20 on 15% of all of these VLT-style slots.
None of the Native American tribes in Washington state are legally required by their state-tribal compacts, or otherwise, to release actual payout returns for their slots.
Other State-By-State Articles from Professor Slots
- Main: Slot Machine Casino Gambling, State-By-State
- Previous: Virginia Slot Machine Casino Gambling 2018 – Virginia slot machine casino gambling does not exist, although slot-like historical race wagering machines will become available later in 2018 at Colonial Downs in eastern Virginia. Horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering are allowed at licensed facilities, with one horseracing track, simulcast, and OTB currently open.
- Next: West Virginia Slot Machine Casino Gambling 2018 – West Virginia slot machine casino gambling consists of 5 casinos having video lottery terminals (VLTs) controlled by the state lottery. Bars and restaurants are legally allowed to have up to 5 VLTs while fraternal organizations are limited to up to 10. Minimum and maximum payout returns are 80% and 95%, respectively.
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