Is Online Poker Legal in Washington?
Washington State has perhaps some of the most unique and also confusing laws when it comes to gambling. Whilst a great deal of gambling is legal, it was actually the first state in the country to expressly make illegal any form of internet gaming.
The definition of Gambling within Washington State is as follows:
“Gambling,” as used in this chapter, means staking or risking something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under the person’s control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that the person or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome. 
It is worth noting that this definition actually covers ‘games of skill’ where an element of chance can also play a deciding role in the outcome of the game.
Casinos and Live Poker
Within Washington, casinos are legal with a number of tribal casinos and commercial casinos operating within the area. In addition to that there is a state lottery, bets are allowed on horse racing (subject to regulation by the Washington Horse Racing Commission) and charitable organizations are allowed to run gambling activities such as poker and casino evenings without needing a license.
Poker games are allowed to be carried out within the state, subject to certain regulations. It is unclear whether these regulations extend to playing poker in a social environment i.e. within your own home.
Whilst Washington was one of the first states to take action against Online Poker, to date no players have been arrested in the state for participating in online poker websites which cater to those in the United States. It is unlikely that they will be either. The main aim of the law is to target those which run gambling websites within the state. The law for this can be found in the following bit of legislation:
Whoever knowingly transmits or receives gambling information by telephone, telegraph, radio, semaphore, the internet, a telecommunications transmission system, or similar means, or knowingly installs or maintains equipment for the transmission or receipt of gambling information shall be guilty of a class C felony subject to the penalty set forth in RCW 9A.20.021. 
It is unlikely that in the future Washington will begin to regulate online gambling. This is because they were the first state to make it illegal and there seems to be no real effort on the part of the residents for bringing change about in the state. There also seems to be nobody who drafts legislation suggesting the idea. If it does become regulated within the state then it is likely that it will be in the distant future.