The Washington State Gambling Commission
The Washington State Gambling Commission was founded in 1973. It is an agency of the Washington State Government, and acts as its gaming control board. This means that the Commission is responsible for enforcing the gambling regulations and laws of Washington.
The second-oldest such national agency in the United States, the Washington State Gambling Commission combines these years of experience with the latest technology. This is seen in both its comprehensive and easily navigable website and the services it provides.
Washington State Gambling Commission Administration
The Gambling Commission was first established by the Legislature in response to several gambling-related scandals. Since then, there have been very few major gambling disgraces in Washington State and the commission prides itself on the high quality of its investigations.
The primary aims of the Commission are to promote social welfare through regulation and control, and to keep the criminal element out of gambling in Washington. To achieve this, it works closely with law enforcement agencies at local, state, federal, international and Tribal levels, and has a Governor-Appointed Independent Citizens Commission. These 5 citizens are appointed with the consent of the senate, and act as part-time commissioners for a single term of 6 years.
The Legislature and the Commission are linked by 4 ex officio members. They only vote on approving or amending Tribal State Class III Gambling Compacts. All Tribal casinos and game activities are regulated by these Compacts, and allow a level of autonomy to the First Generation people who own them.
Funding for the Commission and all of its activities is provided by Tribal Governments and licensees paying regulatory and licensing fees.
Washington State Gambling Commission Functions
In Washington, licensed gambling activities cover Bingo games, Pull-tabs, amusement games, punch boards, card games, raffles and fund-raising events. The Commission investigates gambling activities that are considered criminal, including Internet gambling, theft, fraud, cheating, animal fights, book making, embezzlement, money laundering and loansharking.
All of this is carried out by Gambling Special Agents, who are commissioned law enforcement officers and attend the Basic Law Enforcement Academy to receive the same training as other policemen. Many are also Certified Public Accountants or Certified Fraud Examiners. These dedicated individuals run detailed background checks, on-site investigations and audits to ensure all games in the state are legal and honest.
The Washington State Gambling Commission also provides a lot of useful information to the public, in an easily accessed and understood format, on its website and through presentations. This includes advice on authorized game rules, other rules and laws, gambling activities and news and updates in licensing and raffles. It’s also possible to repost violations, get information on testing labs, renew licenses, file activity reports, make public disclosure reports and provide feedback, at the offices and online. You can contact the Commission with queries, and the FAQ section on their website is quite comprehensive as well.
The Commission seems dedicated to its task of keeping gambling in Washington safe and within the limits of the law, and of helping all those involved to do the same. Its comprehensive website and frequent updates and report-backs are testament to this.