On August 3rd, 2007, Lee Rousso announced in the Poker Players Alliance Forum that he has a September 21st, 2007 hearing for the lawsuit he filed against the state of Washington regarding the online gaming laws.
Rousso was initially hoping for an August 31st, 2007 hearing but September 21st, 2007 was the earliest possible date that the Judge could spare on his calendar. Rousso needs to submit his briefing on or before August 24th, 2007 for the hearing.
Lee Rousso, a lawyer in Washington and a representative of the PPA filed the case against Washington on the first day of the 2007 wsop Main Event. His lawsuit claims that Washington's ban on poker violates the constitution. He is seeking a ruling that the Online gaming ban is unnecessary and unconstitutional.
His first argument is that the online ban violates the commerce clause in the U.S. constitution because the ban discriminates against legal out of state online businesses.
Online gaming and poker are allowed in Washington so clearly the main purpose of the IGB or the online ban is to force players to concentrate their attention on gambling businesses in the state.
The IGB or the Internet Gambling Ban also violates the clause in two other instances. It places uncalled problems for interstate business as well as global business that are not in accordance with the state's own interest.
The law also violates the Commerce Clause in the constitution because the government has already dealt with online gambling and the law is opposed to the laws that are already set up to ensure fair trade under international rules.
The lawsuit also states that Congress has repeatedly dismissed moves to modify the Wire Act to legally recognize online poker. Congress has also refused to extend criminal responsibility for online gaming to ordinary players.
It is unfair considering the Congress has granted an exemption to fantasy sports considering it is illegal in Washington when played online. The IGB also violates the country's commitment to the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs that the U.S. agreed to under the World Trade Organization because it allows some form of online gaming like horse racing but prohibits other forms of gambling.
Rousso's other reasons for deciding that online gambling is unconstitutional because it violates the eighth amendment of the U.S. constitution.
The eighth Amendment strictly prohibits unnecessary punishments like what is happening with online poker right now. Playing in an illegal card room is considered a misdemeanor charge in the state of Washington but the ban makes playing online poker a Class C felony, equivalent to the punishment for indulging in child pornography or causing bodily harm to the governor.
Rousso's final argument regarding the case is that the IGB violates the fourteenth amendment of the U.S. constitution, which guarantees the citizens of the U.S. due process of law. Rousso said that the law is so unclear that a normal citizen cannot decide on whether their acts are allowed or not.
Part of Rousso's request is to have the court release a preliminary injunction order to block any enforcements of the IGB while the case is still being heard. He is also requesting an injunction for all criminal cases and investigations in connection with the IGB.
But that move came too late for one resident in the state who operates an honor-based wagering platform that was closed down by authorities in July.
The computer equipment that has a connection with Betcha.com managed by Nick Jenkins was confiscated by authorities. Jenkins is now hoping to get a restraining order against the state.
Betcha.com is not the first victim of the ban. In 2006, after the ban was passed, an online gambling site that did not accept any wagers but told players what to do while playing in an online casino and what the best casinos out there was told to stop their operations.
September 30, 2007