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Gambling Tax

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The City's gambling tax refers to a tax on gambling business activities such as punchboard, pulltab and amusement games. Gambling tax is due on all gross income received from gambling activities after any allowed exemptions are taken. 


How to Report

Gambling tax is required to be filed monthly to the City of Tacoma.  Monthly returns are due by the end of the month following the close of the tax period.  If you did not receive a tax return you may send an email to taxinfo@cityoftacoma.org to request another copy or you can file online with FileLocal


Gambling Tax 

For-Profit Punchboard and Pull Tab  multiply the number of chances played on said board times the price or value of each individual chance or play.


Amusement Games – multiply the number of chances played on games that are awarded a prize (i.e. claw game) times the price of each individual chance or play.  Amounts paid out for merchandise prizes for amusement games may be deducted from the gross income. 


Business & Occupation Tax (reported on quarterly B&O tax return)

Effective January 1, 2019, businesses are no longer required to remit B&O tax on the income generated from gambling activity as defined in TMC 6A.60 - Gambling Tax. 



Commissions from machines that you do not own such as music and amusement games, cigarette, ATM, pay phone, pool table, and vending machines including machines that are located on your premises where you do not have control of the coin box are reported under the Service and Other tax classification on your quarterly or annual tax return.



Charitable Nonprofit Organizations - bona fide charitable or nonprofit organizations are exempt from the gambling tax on gambling activities.


Churches, Schools or Non-profit Hospitals – any church, public school, parent-teacher organization, or nonprofit hospital holding or sponsoring a bazaar or carnival not more than once each calendar year wherein bingo, raffles or amusement games are conducted are exempt from the gambling tax on such activities.



Social card games are prohibited per Tacoma Municipal Code 8.36 in the city limits of Tacoma.



Any fee or charge for admission to your establishment or fee to play games is required to include a 5% admission tax. Visit the Admissions Tax web page for more information.


If you have Bingo, Raffle, or Cabaret activity please contact Tax & License at (253) 591-5252 or taxinfo@cityoftacoma.org to determine your tax reporting responsibilities.