About Us

The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) was formed in 1933 by the Steele Act to regulate the importation, manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcohol.

The Board's balanced mission provides equal emphasis on public safety and controlled distribution.

Since its inception, the WSLCB has returned more than $4 billion in revenue to the state. If current revenue trends continue, the agency will return $4 billion to Washington in the next decade. In Fiscal Year 2011, the WSLCB returned $425.7 million to fund essential state and local services.

There are 18 U.S. control states, including Washington, Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming. Maryland's Montgomery and Worcester counties are control jurisdictions.

Contribute to the safety and financial stability of our communities by ensuring the responsible sale, and preventing the misuse of, alcohol and tobacco.

We strive to make Washington communities safe by being:

  • A recognized national leader in alcohol and tobacco regulation, business operation and public safety;
  • A model employer where employees grow and thrive; and
  • A collaborative partner that establishes effective and lasting solutions.

The agency's 1,400 employees work in areas such as:

  • Business Enterprise
    The Business Enterprise is made up of Purchasing, Retail and Distribution employees responsible for the controlled distribution of liquor.
    • Purchasing: Staff monitor new product developments and key trends to ensure a product selection in liquor stores that balances choice and limited space availability.
    • Distribution: Employees at the Distribution Center, a highly automated warehouse facility in Seattle, receive and ship all liquor and wine sold in state and contract stores, and all beer sold in state stores.
    • Retail: More than 800 full- and-part time clerks, assistant managers and managers operate 166 state liquor stores in high-population areas. The division also closely regulates the operation of 163 contract liquor stores run by small business owners that serve mostly rural areas. The 12 district managers oversee state and contract liquor stores, and provide technical and merchandising support to 12 tribal and 29 military stores.
  • Enforcement
    Liquor and tobacco enforcement officers enforce state liquor and tobacco laws and regulations at licensed businesses across the state. Officers also provide education to licensees, communities, and local law enforcement agencies.
  • Licensing
    License investigators and specialists issue liquor licenses and permits for more than 16,500 qualified businesses. Staff also provide oversight for the Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST) program for workers who serve alcohol, administer Alcohol Impact Areas, and approve special licensees for one-time-only events.
  • Agency Operations
    Staff carry out tasks in areas such as accounting and finance, alcohol education, information technology, human resources, communications, public records, and more.