Washington Casino and Card Room Gaming
Card rooms are regulated by the Washington State Gambling Commission (WSGC), which uses no general state tax revenues for its operations; it is funded solely by licensing and regulatory fees paid by licensees.
In 1981, legislation was changed to increase the tax on card games from 5% to 20%.
In 1996, the WSGC created a pilot program for card room enhancements, which allowed more tables, alternative collection methods, and player-supported progressive prizes. Fifteen card rooms participated in the study. The card room pilot program was revised by the WSGC the following year to conform to new legislation authorizing house-banked and player-banked card games. On 15 May 2000, the pilot program rules became permanent.
Card room rules have changed significantly four times since then. In 2006, card room betting limits were raised to allow $200 wagering limits at all tables in a house-banked card room. Previously, a card room could only have $200 wagers on at most three tables.
In 2008, card room hours of operation changed from 20 hours a day, seven days a week, to 24 hours a day, five days a week.
In 2012, the WSGC authorized carryover pots, for up to 10 games, in house-banked card games. Previously, pots could not be carried over. Texas Hold'em wagering limits were raised from $40 to $100.
In 1999, the City Council of Tacoma, Washington voted to ban mini-casinos. The City Council decided to allow existing card rooms to stay open for six more years to try to recoup their investments. When the six-year deadline was near, a campaign to overturn the ban began. A Pierce County Superior Court judge ruled that the card rooms may stay open while awaiting the vote. September 2006, voters elected to shut the card rooms down in a ballot initiative. As a result, the three card rooms in Tacoma were immediately closed.
In November 2008, a vote in the City of Lakewood to ban house-banked card rooms failed.
Washington Casino and Card Room Gaming Properties
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