Is Advertising Online Gambling Illegal in the State of Washington?

Is Advertising Online Gambling Illegal in the State of Washington?

I wished to create a website to advertise Online Gambling to persons living in jurisdictions where Online Gambling isn’t illegal. Prior to creating the website, I did some research to find out if advertising Online Gambling via a website located in the U.S. is illegal. In short it appears that it isn’t illegal, however. Its sort of in the Grey-area at this time. TheFederal Communication Commission (FCC) is the regulatory body responsible for Internet


As a new webmaster with a new Online Gambling website, I find this to be some what of a boon

and a bane, which is addressed below. The F.C.C. is of course a Federal agency, thinking in

that context I didn’t consider the State level. already though Federal laws and regulations

supercede State and Local laws, regulations.

How did I come to think about Washington State laws, regulations, when in fact the F.C.C. is

responsible for the Internet. Here’s what happened!

On 7-7-05 I posted in a Gambling webmasters forum, requesting a ‘Site review’ and received

some constructive advice on my website. Keep in mind that I began uploading site on 6-14-05

so the site had been on the internet for only three weeks. I wasn’t receiving any traffic

excepting myself and gambling webmasters from the forum and some affiliate managers to whose

program I applied.

I had second thoughts about posting in a Gambling webmaster forum, thinking that if the

Federal Government wanted to persecute or harass Gambling website owners residing in the

(US), a Gambling webmasters forum would be a good place for them to stake-out, so to speak.

Also this forum is an organization that deals with Gambling Casino merchants on behalf of

Gambling website owners, lots of members.

Hoping to get in the big 3 Search engines I Checked my traffic Statistics, there wasn’t much

to look at. A section of the statistics page (Country) lists which Countries visitors are

coming from. The Country listing looked like this on 7-8-05.


1 Network

2 Unresolved/Unknown

3 US Commercial

4 Non-Profit Organization

5 Israel

6 Australia

7 Seychelles

8 Canada

9 Denmark

10 Hungary

11 Sweden

12 Singapore

13 United Kingdom

on 7-9-05, Country had one additional entry, US Government, and looked like the following.

1 Network

2 Unresolved/Unknown

3 US Commercial

4 Non-Profit Organization

5 Israel

6 Australia

7 Seychelles

8 Canada

9 Denmark

10 Hungary

11 Sweden

12 Singapore

13 United Kingdom

14 US Government

Looking at the new entry ‘US Government’ first thing in the morning, my mind began swimming

with ‘what if’s’ and my stomach is feeling a little queasy, I couldn’t help wondering if I

were standing up, would my legs be shaking. Should I have avoided posting in the Gambling

webmasters forum and hopefully ‘fly under the radar’ or is this simply a coincidence, am I

just paranoid?

At 7am the coffee is nevertheless perking and with this eye-opener my mind is racing, my stomach

unsettled. I needed to grab a cup of coffee and a cigarette and head out to the patio for a

few moments of reflection. As I stood up and looked out the window directly in front of me, I

saw an unmarked white police kind cruiser with a plain-clothes driver very slowly cruising

past my house.

Now the legs are shaky! my first thought is, should I get some of the dark Rum in the

cupboard to fortify my coffee. No its much to early for Rum. On the patio I nervously drag on

my cigarette and can only sip on the hot coffee. Cursing myself for not adding the Rum, to at

least cool down the coffee. I needed a few quick gulps to replace the uneasy feeling in my

stomach with something warm and pleasant.

Questioning the circumstances, a Gambling website, my research, the posting in the forum, ‘US

Government’ visitor in Traffic logs, unmarked police car. Was this

just a pair of coincidence’s. That was definitely an unmarked car, the kind law enforcement

uses, not from the EPA or County employees checking their area out. Was the unmarked car federal or could the Feds have contacted local law enforcement to have them check out the

website owners address.

I began to surprise if the ‘unmarked cruiser’ was the Washington State police. Then it dawned

on me that already though the FCC is responsible for the Internet, perhaps the State of Washington

has laws prohibiting, advertisement of Online Gambling by State residents. I better Check.

I loathe the thought of perhaps spending hours searching the Washington State website for

information on, advertising Online Gambling. Well, maybe someone else has done that already,

perhaps I should kind in ‘advertise online gambling Washington’ into Yahoo search and hope to

find something.

JackPot! the first listing is entitled: Washington State Gambling Commission –

Internet/Online Gambling Questions. My luck is running now, nervously scanning the document I

find just what I’m looking for.

Can I advertise gaming activities online?

State laws do not prevent the advertising of gaming activities online, as long as the subject

of the advertisement is empowered gaming activities. However, other agencies, such as the

Federal Communications Commission, may have statutes and regulations that apply. Any of the

house-banked or tribal casinos, or bingo operators may advertise on the Internet; however, no

one may advertise or request citizens of Washington State to wager online.

Well the news isn’t bad, but is nevertheless basically in the Grey-area, relief. I started wondering

if other Online Gambling webmasters located in the State of Washington, had eager feelings

or experiences similar to mine. Prompting me to submit this article with the related url’s

for them to peruse.

Above I mentioned that the current legal standing Grey-area situation, is some what a boon

and a bane for Gambling portal webmasters. People from the U.S.A. inquire in forums about the

legality of advertising Online Gambling, all the time.

Boon. This uncertainty keeps many possible Gambling webmasters out of Gambling affiliate

marketing. Resulting in less competition for the rest of us, and very importantly keeps

Gambling Merchant operators from reducing the compensation aspect of their programs, because

of fewer affiliates marketing their program.

Bane. The other side is that the U.S. Government could decide to make advertising Online

Gambling clearly illegal at some time in the future. consequently necessitating Gambling portal

webmasters to shut down their websites and lose all the many hours of work they invested in

creating, maintaining their websites, not to mention lost income.

Just for the record I’ll include my website url:[]

Below are the url’s used for the search referred to above.

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