A bill has been introduced in Washington state which would effectively decriminalize online sports betting in the state. The proposed bill would allow the tribal casinos to have access to online gambling. US gamblers in the state of Washington would still be required to be physically in the casino to be legally allowed to gamble online. We take a look at what the Caucus chair revealed about proposed law.
Washington State Laws on Online Gambling
In 2006 US lawmakers in the state of Washington amended existing laws on online gambling making them harsher. The law amendment declared it a felony to participate or pass on in any way or form the activity of online gambling. The amended law said anyone who intentionally and knowingly transmitted or received gambling information would be guilty of a felony. Therefore, any transmission by “telephone, telegraph, radio, semaphore, the Internet, a telecommunications transmission system, or similar means” would be committing a Class C felony.
That means until the proposed bill that allows to bet online in casinos is passed Washington residents cannot gamble online legally. According to the current laws, online gambling within Washington may land gamblers in prison for a minimum of five years with a $10 000 fine. However, no Washington resident has been arrested or fined for online gambling. This maybe the reason why the lawmakers have decided to give an allowance to gamblers in Washington State.
What the Proposed Bill Means for Washington State Casinos
Majority Caucus Chair Eric Pettigrew’s bill is not a go ahead for state-wide online sports betting. What the bill will do is allow the existing tribal casinos to have online gambling and online sports betting facilities. Gamblers in Washington state will have to physically go to the casinos to access online gambling. Washington State Gambling Commission is optimistic that this will be the beginning of more flexibility and relaxation of anti-online gambling laws in Washington.
We will keep you regularly updated with these and other online gambling stories.