The public policy of the state of Washington on gambling is to keep the criminal element out of gambling and to promote the social welfare of the people by limiting the nature and scope of gambling activities and by strict regulation and control.
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the legislature, recognizing the close relationship between professional gambling and organized crime, to restrain all persons from seeking profit from professional gambling activities in this state; to restrain all persons from patronizing such professional gambling activities; to safeguard the public against the evils induced by common gamblers and common gambling houses engaged in professional gambling; and at the same time, both to preserve the freedom of the press and to avoid restricting participation by individuals in activities and social pastimes, which activities and social pastimes are more for amusement rather than for profit, do not maliciously affect the public, and do not breach the peace.
The legislature further declares that the raising of funds for the promotion of bona fide charitable or nonprofit organizations is in the public interest as is participation in such activities and social pastimes as are hereinafter in this chapter authorized.
The legislature further declares that the conducting of bingo, raffles, and amusement games and the operation of punchboards, pull-tabs, card games and other social pastimes, when conducted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and any rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto, are hereby authorized, as are only such lotteries for which no valuable consideration has been paid or agreed to be paid as hereinafter in this chapter provided.
The legislature further declares that fishing derbies shall not constitute any form of gambling and shall not be considered as a lottery, a raffle, or an amusement game and shall not be subject to the provisions of this chapter or any rules and regulations adopted hereunder.
The legislature further declares that raffles authorized by the fish and wildlife commission involving hunting big game animals or wild turkeys shall not be subject to the provisions of this chapter or any rules and regulations adopted hereunder, with the exception of this section and RCW 9.46.400.
All factors incident to the activities authorized in this chapter shall be closely controlled, and the provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed to achieve such end.
[1996 c 101 § 2; 1994 c 218 § 2; 1975 1st ex.s. c 259 § 1; 1974 ex.s. c 155 § 1; 1974 ex.s. c 135 § 1; 1973 1st ex.s. c 218 § 1.]
| Findings -- 1996 c 101: See note following RCW 77.32.530.|
Effective date -- 1994 c 218: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect immediately [April 1, 1994]." [1994 c 218 § 20.]
Severability -- 1974 ex.s. c 155: "If any provision of this 1974 amendatory act, or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act, or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [1974 ex.s. c 155 § 13; 1974 ex.s. c 135 § 13.] Section 14 of the act, which provided for an effective date and that the act would be subject to referendum petition, was vetoed by the governor. The veto and the related message can be found in chapter 155, Laws of 1974 ex. sess.