The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Is online bingo legal in Washington state?

Is online bingo legal in Washington state?

Online bingo is growing rapidly, with players everywhere noting the benefits of gaming from the comfort of home. Exciting, engaging, and best of all, offering a real chance to scoop the jackpot, bingo is enjoyed by millions worldwide.

Paolo Reyna
Jul 29, 2021

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Online bingo is growing rapidly, with players everywhere noting the benefits of gaming from the comfort of home.

Exciting, engaging, and best of all, offering a real chance to scoop the jackpot, bingo is enjoyed by millions worldwide.

Countries like the UK have seen a surge in online bingo activity in recent times, with players enjoying a secure environment to play safe bingo sites thanks to high-end regulation. 

In the US, bingo laws remain difficult to pin down. Here, players truly love to enjoy bingo yet many worry that online types of bingo may be illegal. In Washington state, laws are just as complex as elsewhere.

In this article, we will take a look at whether or not online bingo is legal in Washington state, considering what the law declares as well as any future changes that may come in future.

So, without further ado, let’s first take a peek at whether online bingo sites are legal in the US as a whole, before we look specifically at Washington.

Is bingo gambling under American law?

As most are aware, gambling is illegal in all but just a few US states. As a result, all types of traditional gambling including sports betting and casinos are against the law in the majority of states. However, as bingo is a style of online gambling under federal law, it exists in a sort of limbo and is not in fact against the law in all states.

In reality, just ten US states render online gambling entirely illegal. What’s more, a further three implement online gambling legislation that sees online bingo as a fully legal entity. This means thirty-seven states continue to categorise online bingo in a strange kind of grey zone.

As a result, many Americans – including players in Washington state – do continue to play online bingo without any worry of legal problems because it is an online activity that has no specific laws banning it at either federal or state level.

Are online bingo sites legal in the US and Washington state?

The situation around online gambling in each of the fifty US states shifts on what seems like a monthly basis, with laws and ideas around the activity under a microscope.

So, to truly answer the question of whether online bingo sites are legal in the US and Washington state, it is essential to consider as many aspects as possible. Even then, it is tough to provide a definitive answer. Indeed, online bingo sites are neither legal or illegal for the most part.

What does this mean in practical terms for players of online bingo in Washington state? Well, the reality is that most, if not all, who wish to play online bingo from within Washington continue to do so. The practice is not illegal (nor legal) and so there are no real possibilities for prosecution. As a result, it is safe to say to all bingo lovers in Washington state; happy gaming!

Paolo Reyna | Paolo is a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, majoring in International Studies with a Latin American emphasis. During the fall semester of 2012, he had the opportunity to study abroad in Peru, which piqued his interest in international growth. He learned about the disparities that impact indigenous peoples, got a taste of Peruvian culture, and improved his Spanish skills. Mitchel interned with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, conducting research on food security in Latin America, after being inspired by his foreign experience. He wants to work in international development and for a government department, writing legislation. He loves playing intramural basketball and practicing for the Chicago marathon when he is not thinking about current events in Latin America.


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