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Major events in Washington State gaming history


Pari-mutuel wagering begins and several tracks open in the ensuing years


Horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering are banned


Pari-mutuel wagering is authorized once again and the Horse Racing Commission is created
Longacres opens in August


Playfair Race Course opens (on site of the original Spokane Race Course, first opened in 1901)


Slot machines are allowed for registered private or nonprofit clubs


State Supreme Court rules the law authorizing clubs to operate slot machines violates constitutional prohibition against lotteries


Yakima Meadows opens in April


The Legislature authorizes bingo, raffles and amusement games


The state constitution is amended to allow gambling activities when authorized by either a 60% majority vote of the Legislature or a 60% vote of the people


Social gambling activities for both charitable and commercial operators are authorized by legislature
The Washington State Gambling Commission is created


Card rooms and social card games are authorized


Charitable and nonprofit organizations are allowed to hold Reno Nights


Limited simulcast wagering is authorized


The Legislature creates a state lottery and ticket sales begin in November


The Tulalip, Puyallup and Muckleshoot tribes begin operating the first tribal bingo games


In January, Triple Choice (now the Daily Number) is the Lottery’s first draw game
The Lottery introduces Lotto in July


Off-track wagering is authorized


The Lottery introduces Quinto in May


Tulalip Resort Casino opens in July as the first tribal casino operating under a Class III compact
Last year of racing at Longacres
Daily Keno is added to the Lottery’s lineup in November


Nooksack River Casino opens in April


Swinomish Northern Lights Casino opens in July


Seven Cedars Casino opens in February, Muckleshoot Casino in May, Lucky Eagle Casino June, and Little Creek Casino in September
Clearwater Casino & Resort and Skagit Valley Casino Resort open in December


Emerald Downs opens in June
Emerald Queen casino opens in December


House-banked card games, such as blackjack, are authorized at commercial card rooms
Red Wind Casino opens in May


Last year of racing at Yakima Meadows
Yakama Legends Casino opens in May


Playfair fails to hold a race meet
In June, tribal casinos begin operating electronic gaming devices under the tribal lottery system


Playfair Race Course reopens for simulcasting and one season of live racing
Quinault Beach Resort and Casino opens in May
Northern Quest Casino opens in December


Full card simulcast wagering is authorized
Lucky Dog Casino opens in August
Playfair closes for good in July


The Point Casino opens in February; Silver Reef Casino opens in April
Emerald Queen Casino I-5 opens in July
The Lottery begins Mega Millions sales in September


Shoalwater Bay Casino opens in October
Okanogan Bingo Casino opens in December


Off-track wagering facilities are allowed to operate year round
Coulee Dam Casino opens in January, Mill Bay Casino in February, and Angel of the Winds Casino in December
Quil Ceda Creek Night Club & Casino opens in September
Emerald Queen Hotel & Casino Fife opens in December, replacing the original Emerald Queen


Advance deposit wagering is authorized


Muckleshoot Casino II opens in August


The Lottery adds Hit 5 in March, replacing Quinto


Chewelah Casino and Two Rivers Casino open in August
The Lottery adds Match 4 in August
Snoqualmie Casino opens in November


Powerball sales begin in January


The Legislature directs the Lottery to hold an annual Veteran’s Raffle, to be drawn November 11 of each year; it ran for three years


12 Tribes Casino Resort opens in June, replacing the Okanogan Bingo Casino
Nooksack River Casino closes in December


ilani Casino Resort opens April 24

Casinos and casino-style gaming

Social gaming was authorized in 1973 for commercial food and beverage locations as well as non-profit organizations. The initial approved games included amusement games, bingo, raffles and punchboards/pulltabs. Card rooms, social card games and mahjongg were added in 1974.

During fiscal year 2015, there were an average of 893 commercial licensees reporting revenues from punchboards/pulltabs, 64 licensees reporting card room activity and 73 licensees with amusement games.

Washington State Gambling Commission
P.O. Box 42400
Olympia, WA  98504
Phone (360) 486-3440


Tribal gaming

There are 29 tribes with Class III gaming compacts in Washington. Of those, 24 tribes have gaming operations and they operate a total of 32 gaming facilities, including some with just bingo or Class II games.

Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation – Yakama Legends Casino
Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation – Lucky Eagle Casino
Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation Washington – Coulee Dam Casino, Mill Bay Casino, 12 Tribes Resort Casino
Cowlitz Tribe – ilani Casino Resort
Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe – Seven Cedars Casino
Kalispel Indian Community of the Kalispel Reservation – Northern Quest Casino
Lower Elwha Tribal Community of the Lower Elwha Reservation – Elwha River Casino (Class II)
Lummi Tribe of the Lummi Reservation – Silver Reef Casino
Muckleshoot Indian Tribe of the Muckleshoot Reservation – Muckleshoot Casino, Muckleshoot Casino II, Muckleshoot Indian Bingo
Nisqually Indian Tribe of the Nisqually Reservation – Red Wind Casino
Nooksack Indian Tribe of Washington – Northwood Casino (Class II)
Port Gamble Indian Community of the Port Gamble Reservation – The Point Casino
Puyallup Tribe of the Puyallup Reservation – Emerald Queen Casino I-5, Emerald Queen Hotel & Casino Fife
Quinault Tribe of the Quinault Reservation – Quinault Beach Resort and Casino
Shoalwater Bay Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation – Shoalwater Bay Casino
Skokomish Indian Tribe of the Skokomish Reservation – Lucky Dog Casino
Snoqualmie Tribe, Washington – Snoqualmie Casino
Spokane Tribe of the Spokane Reservation, Washington – Chewelah Casino, Two Rivers Casino
Squaxin Island Tribe of the Squaxin Island Reservation, Washington – Little Creek Casino
Stillaguamish Tribe of Washington – Angel of the Winds Casino
Suquamish Indian Tribe of the Port Madison Reservation, Washington – Clearwater Casino & Resort
Swinomish Indians of the Swinomish Reservation, Washington – Swinomish Casino and Lodge
Tulalip Tribes of the Tulalip Reservation, Washington – Quil Ceda Creek Night Club & Casino, Tulalip Bingo, Tulalip Resort Casino
Upper Skagit Indian Tribe of Washington – Skagit Valley Casino Resort


Washington’s Lottery began ticket sales in November 1982 with instant games. The current game offerings include instant tickets, Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto, Hit Five, Daily Game, Match 4 and Daily Keno.

Lottery proceeds benefit a variety of state programs as directed by the state legislature. Currently, beneficiaries include the Washington Opportunity Pathways Account for education programs and priorities, the Economic Development Account, the Problem Gambling Account, stadium debt payments and the General Fund.

Washington’s Lottery
P.O. Box 43000
Olympia, WA 98504-3000
Phone (360) 664-4800


Pari-mutuel facilities

There is one commercial racetrack in Washington and four non-profit racetracks (at Dayton, Kennewick-Sun Downs, Waitsburg and Walla Walla). Off-track wagering was authorized in 1987 and there are currently 15 OTB locations, including those at tribal casinos.

Emerald Downs
2300 Emerald Downs Drive
Auburn, WA 98001
Washington Horse Racing Commission
6326 Martin Way, Suite 209
Olympia, WA 98516
Phone (360) 459-6462 


Charitable gaming

Non-profit organizations may offer the same social games as commercial operators, including bingo, punchboards/pulltabs, card rooms, raffles and amusement games. They may also offer fundraising events such as Reno nights.

Washington State Gambling Commission
P.O. Box 42400
Olympia, WA  98504
Phone (360) 486-3440

Last updated on April 26, 2017