nline poker is criminalized in the state, under current law on the books. There have been attempts to repeal that 2006 law, but nothing has ever gained traction. For what it’s worth, no poker player has ever been criminally charged for engaging in online poker from within the state’s borders, but it could happen.
Though no online poker bill has been introduced yet, the Committee on Commerce, Labor & Sports heard testimony from the Poker Players Alliance during the meeting.
“[T]housands of Washingtonians already gamble on offshore sites that provide absolutely no local oversight or protection,” PPA Executive Director John Pappas told lawmakers. “However, this committee can decide whether or not to protect these consumers online."
“Regulation of iGaming should not be viewed as an expansion of gambling in Washington State, but rather as an opportunity to protect consumers and add a new distribution channel for the state’s existing, and tightly regulated, gaming industry”
Last year, a piece of legislation came forward to legalize online poker, but it didn’t advance. A similar bill was on the table in 2015 but died early in the legislative session.
Other states considering online poker in 2017 include California, New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Just Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware have the games already.