Introduction to Washington Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2019
Washington slot machine casino gambling consists of 29 tribal casinos with a unique type of video lottery terminal (VLT) slot machines. Along with many card rooms in the state, they also offer most Vegas-style table games
This post continues the weekly series Online Resource: A State-By-State Slot Machine Casino Gambling Series, an online resource dedicated to guiding slot machine casino gambling enthusiasts to success. Each weekly post reviews slots gambling in a single U.S. state, territory, or the federal district.
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Relevant Legal Statutes on Gambling in Washington*
The minimum legal gambling age in Washington depends upon the gambling activity:
- Land-Based Casinos: 21/18 depending on the casino
- Poker Rooms: 18
- Bingo: 18
- Lottery: 18
- Pari-Mutuel Wagering: 18
Washington slot machine casino gambling exists at tribal casinos based on the lottery’s scratch ticket games in electronic form. This unique form of video lottery terminal (VLT) slot machines makes Washington slot machines unique in the U.S. All other U.S.-based VLTs are lottery draw games, not from lotteries other game: scratch tickets
Each of the 29 federally recognized American Indian tribes negotiated state-tribal compacts with the state to offer gambling at tribal casinos. However, the state and these tribes could not agree on whether Vegas-style slot machines should be legal in Washington.
Scratch-based VLTs resulted from early negotiations of state-tribal gaming compacts. This impasse resolution led to creating a secondary lottery system for VLTs at tribal casinos. The state lottery was a model for the Tribal Lottery System (TLS).
Draw-based VLTs create tickets at the time of the bet using random number generators (RNGs). Scratch-based VLTs know in advance the result of each wager. Put another way, the outcome of each scratch-based VLT bet is pre-determined. Bets do not require an RNG.
Another technical difference between lottery draw tickets and scratch tickets is how many of them can exist. For example, there can be as many draw tickets as players are willing to buy. However, lotteries create only a limited number of scratch tickets but, hopefully, enough for a busy night at Washington tribal casinos.
All negotiated tribal-state compacts also have other legal restrictions for their scratch-based VLT-style slot machines. These limits have been expanding over time as part of this state’s dynamic gaming industry. The requirements are:
- Allows replaying of credits won
- No handles
- No mechanical spinning wheels
- A minimum payout return (see below)
- $5 maximum wager on 85% on VLTs
- $20 maximum wager on 15% of VLTs
- Cap of 2,500 VLT machines per tribe
A small group, carousel, or bank of VLTs pull virtual scratch tickets from the same set. Each small group uses a different set. Given these tickets are of a finite number, running out of tickets in a set means only a few VLTs are out of them before switching to a new set of tickets. This switching should take place nearly instantaneously, likely not causing any small group of VLTs to shut down temporarily.
*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 in Washington
It is legal to privately own a slot machine in the state of Washington if it is 25 years old or older. However, it cannot have a gambling purpose. For example, it must be free to play.
Gaming Control Board in Washington
The gaming control board is the Washington State Gambling Commission. It provides licensing, regulation, and enforcement of certain aspects of the gaming industry in Washington. Their regulatory responsibilities primarily include testing and approving new electronic gaming machines.
Casinos in Washington
There are 29 American Indian tribal casinos available in the state of Washington with more than 35,000 VLT-style slot machines
The largest casino in Washington is the Muckleshoot Casino having more than 3,000 VLT slot machines and 75 table games.
The second largest casino is Tulalip Casino having more than 2,400 VLT slot machines and more than 35 table games.
List of Casinos in Washington
The state of Washington has no non-tribal casinos with slot machines. However, Washington has many card rooms or “mini-casinos” with up to 15 tables each.
List of Tribal Casinos in Washington
The state of Washington has 29 tribal casinos. Each casino’s website is in this handy downloadable list. Washington tribal casinos are:
- Angel of the Winds Casino Resort in Arlington located 50 miles north of Seattle
- BJ’s Bingo in Fife situated near Tacoma
- Chewelah Casino in Chewelah situated 50 miles north of Spokane
- Coulee Dam Casino, one of three 12 Tribes Colville Casinos, in Coulee Dam situated 40 miles north of Seattle
- Elwha River Casino in Port Angeles situated 70 miles northwest of Seattle by ferry
- Emerald Queen Hotel & Casino in Fife situated near Tacoma
- Emerald Queen Casino at I-5 in Tacoma
- Ilani Casino Resort in Ridgefield located 25 miles north of Portland near the border to Oregon
- Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton situated 23 miles north of Olympia
- Lucky Dog Casino in Skokomish situated 23 miles north of Olympia
- Lucky Eagle Casino in Rochester situated 26 miles south of Olympia
- Mill Bay Casino, one of three 12 Tribes Colville Casinos, in Manson situated 200 miles northeast of Seattle on the north shore of Lake Chelan
- Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn situated 20 miles south of Seattle
- Nooksack Northwood Casino in Lynden situated 14 miles north of Bellingham
- Northern Quest Resort & Casino in Airway Heights situated 10 miles west of Spokane
- The Point Casino in Kingston situated 18 miles west of Seattle via Bainbridge Ferry
- Quil Ceda Creek Nightclub & Casino in Tulalip situated 30 miles north of Seattle
- Quinault Beach Resort and Casino in Ocean Shores situated 90 miles west of Tacoma
- Red Wind Casino situated in Olympia
- 7 Cedars Casino in Sequim situated 70 miles northwest of Seattle by ferry
- Shoalwater Bay Casino in Tokeland situated 75 miles southwest of Olympia
- Silver Reef Casino Resort in Ferndale situated 17 miles north of Bellingham
- Skagit Valley Casino Resort in Bow situated 75 miles north of Seattle
- Snoqualmie Casino in Snoqualmie situated 30 miles east of Seattle
- Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort in Suquamish situated 15 miles west of Seattle via Bainbridge Ferry
- Swinomish Casino & Lodge in Anacortes situated 70 miles north of Seattle
- Tulalip Casino in Tulalip situated 30 miles north of Seattle
- 12 Tribes Casino, one of three 12 Tribes Colville Casinos, in Omak situated 165 miles northeast of Seattle
- Yakama Legends Casino in Toppenish situated 20 miles south of Yakama
Other Gambling Establishments
As an alternative to enjoying Washington slot machine casino gambling, consider exploring casino options in a nearby state. Bordering Washington is:
Each of the links above will take you to my state-specific blog for that neighboring state to Washington.
Payout Returns in Washington
The Tribal Lottery System (TLS) directly controls the results of Washington’s unique VLT-style slot machines. A central computer system at the TLS provides the outcome of each bet made on each tribal casino’s VLT at the time of the wager. This off-site control extends to any bonus rounds.
All tribal-state compacts in Washington established a minimum payout return percentage of 75% for their VLT slot machines. Further, no tribe in the state of Washington releases payout return statistics of actual results for slots.
Our Washington Slots Facebook Group
Are you interested in sharing and learning with other slots enthusiasts in Washington? If so, join our new Washington slots community on Facebook. All you’ll need is a Facebook profile to freely join this closed Facebook Group.
There, you’ll be able to privately share your slots experiences as well as chat with players about slots gambling in or near Washington. Come join us!
Summary of Washington Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2019
Washington slot machine casino gambling consists of 29 tribal casinos with scratch ticket VLT-style video slot machines. A central computer server at the Tribal Lottery System directly controls the results of each bet. Otherwise, all tribal casinos in the state of Washington offer Las Vegas-style table games.
Tribal-state compacts regulating Washington’s tribal casinos set a minimum payout return of 75% for their unique VLT-style slots. No payout return statistics are available to the public.
Annual Progress in Washington Slot Machine Casino Gambling
Sometime within the last year, the Two Rivers Casino & Resort in Davenport located 60 miles west of Spokane began to no longer offer a casino alongside its RV park and marina.
Related Articles from Professor Slots
Other State-By-State Articles from Professor Slots
- Online Resource: State-By-State Slot Machine Casino Gambling Series
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- Next: West Virginia Slot Machine Casino Gambling