Gambling laws in the Evergreen State are relatively relaxed, allowing for tribal casino gambling, a state lottery, licensed horse racing, cardrooms and games used to raise funds for charitable organizations.
Washington has a long legacy of horse racing that continues today at Emerald Downs in Auburn, about 25 miles southeast of Seattle.
The state’s signature track back in the day was Longacres, which conducted racing from 1933-1992. For much of that time, other tracks in eastern Washington — notably Playfair and Yakima Meadows – fed horses to the big track.
But all those venues are long gone, leaving Emerald Downs to hold down the fort for horse racing in the state, along with a brief fair meet at Sun Downs in Kennewick.
There still is a fairly robust off-track wagering network in the state, with 13 outlets in addition to the tracks when they are not running.
Washington State horse racing betting sites
Washington horse racing betting legislation
The nation’s capital, also known as the District of Columbia, was once a dry spot when it came to legal gambling, but that picture is changing.
The district, which only encompasses a little over 68 square miles, for many years had only a lottery and charitable gaming. But in late 2018, the District Council voted to authorize sports betting following a U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled an existing ban on the practice was unconstitutional. As of early 2019, the state lottery was developing regulations.
The district also famously attempted to establish itself as an online betting bastion in 2010, when the council attached a plan authorizing internet gambling to budget amendments intended to close a $200 million deficit. The proposal, which included plans for a district-run online casino, made it through the legislative process but was later repealed after several council members said they did not realize what they were voting on.
Washington law does not allow for pari-mutuel wagering and no providers of advance deposit wagering, which enables online wagering on dog and horse racing, currently offer services to residents. But that could change when the sport betting regulations are completed.