New effort to regulate Social Gaming in Washington State

By CAITLIN SAKUMA  | 
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Feb 3, 2020

Many free-to-play mobile games allow users to pay for virtual, in-game boosters. For years, the Washington State Gambling Commission has not treated those transactions as gambling. But now it looks like they may be reconsidering.

A 2018 federal court ruling on free-to-play casino-style games would make  online gambling illegal under the current laws in Washington State. Since then, the legal status of social gaming in the state has been in question.

In response, a group of tech leaders and industry experts formed a new coalition last year to advocate for social games to remain available in Washington. Game On WA points out that the social games industry employs over 23,000 people in Washington – valuable, high-paying jobs that the state would lose if the Gambling Commission moves forward with banning social games. The coalition also points out that over 90% of mobile gamers never spend any real money on their games. Stay tuned to see what happens next as there are also bills that have been introduced this legislative session that center around online gaming.