Sunday, October 6, 2002 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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History of gambling in Washington

Seattle Times staff reporter

1889: State constitution prohibits all gambling.

1933: Legislature authorizes betting on horse racing.

1950s and 1960s: Illegal gambling rampant in Seattle and King County.

1971: King County grand jury issues indictments against 51 police officers and public officials, including former King County prosecutor, alleging gambling payoffs.

1971: Legislature authorizes bingo and raffles.

1971: King County Superior Court rules the 1971 act unconstitutional.

1972: SJR 5 is approved by Washington voters, allowing gambling activities by a 60 percent vote of the Legislature or voters.

1973: Gambling Commission created. Legislature authorizes pull tabs, bingo, raffles and "Las Vegas Night" fund-raisers.

1974: Card rooms approved.

1980: Grand jury indictment of House Speaker John Bagnariol, right, Senate Majority Leader Gordon Walgren and Olympia lobbyist Pat Gallagher for conspiring to take payoffs in return for promoting gambling legislation.

1982: Amid budget crisis, Legislature authorizes state lottery.

1988: Congress authorizes tribal casinos.

1992: State signs first Indian gambling compact with the Tulalip Tribe of Indians.

1997: State lawmakers allow nontribal house-banked card rooms.

1999: Tribes begin operating electronic slot machines.

2001: Total net gambling receipts statewide zoom to more than $1 billion, $422 million of it from tribal casinos.

2002: Nontribal gambling interests lobby Legislature to offer same number, type of electronic slot machines as tribes.

Source: Washington State Gambling Commission, staff research


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