As the capital of the United States, Washington D.C. has one form of gambling through the state lottery. Any other forms of gambling in the district are illegal, including casino and betting sites. No lottery tickets can be sold online, and there are definitely no brick-and-mortar gambling venues. In essence, gambling is illegal and will probably earn offenders jail time.
Luckily, neighboring states allow gambling and casinos. Both Maryland and West Virginia have race tracks and casinos. Moreover, Atlantic City is only three hours away by car. So, what we can tell you is that the lottery has multiple draws a day and the interstate lottery is allowed in Washington D.C. While the state does collect some taxes from gambling, they seem to be less than motivated to allow any more.
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Washington D.C. Casinos & Gambling
Currently, Washington D.C. doesn’t allow any form of casino or gambling. Since it’s surrounded by other states that allow gambling, this shouldn’t be much of a problem. While the District Lottery does sell tickets, these can’t be purchased online. In addition, no online gambling is allowed in the district. In fact, casino sites, Daily Fantasy Sports, and sports betting is illegal. So, we wouldn’t recommend it.
While lottery tickets can be purchased, lottery terminals are not allowed. However, daily Keno draws start from 6am every four minutes until 2am. So, you can win a little cash legally in Washington. Charitable gambling is also allowed but is strictly controlled by the District Lottery. Any non-profit groups hosting these events have to register.
While casinos and sports betting may be illegal, Washington D.C. laws do allow lotteries. There are over 100 lottery retailers in the district, who all sell instant games and lotto tickets. A small handful of these retailers are also allowed to offer digital keno draws every four minutes. Some retailers also have digital instant games. However, gaming terminals are illegal. We recommend looking at our Maryland or West Virginia guides for local casinos.
Washington D.C. Gambling History
Until 1982, any form of gambling was illegal in Washington D.C. This was when the District Lottery was introduced, and it remains the only legal gambling to this day. While a bill allowing online gambling was passed in April 2017, Congress vetoed it in 20 days. Congress can veto any measures from the council legally.
Casinos & Gambling FAQs
Is gambling legal in Washington D.C.?
Only on lotteries, other forms of gambling are officially illegal.
Are there casinos in Washington D.C.?
No, no casino can be opened.
What games are offered by the Washington D.C. Lottery?
Only the lottery and keno are allowed to be offered by the Washington D.C. District Lottery.
How do charities operate gambling in Washington D.C.?
Washington D.C. charities have to register to operate any charitable gambling.
What is the minimum Washington D.C. gambling age?
Players must be over 18 years to play the lottery.
Where is the closest casino to Washington D.C.?
Maryland Live! in Hanover is the closest casino.
Is online poker legal?
No, there is no legal online gambling in the district.
Are Washington D.C. casino sitess and sports betting sites legal?
Absolutely not. Any site offering these activities is doing so illegally.
Are daily fantasy sports sites legal in Washington D.C.?
No, though they claim otherwise, it has not passed any laws allowing it.
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