On November 26th, 2007, Washington possesses the hardest penalty regarding online poker. The state passed a law in 2006 which made playing online poker a Class C felony.
Washington State Lawyer Lee Rousso has taken it upon as a personal crusade to dismiss the discriminating law but has recently encountered some problems made by the state in an attempt to keep Rousso's case from going to trial.
Earlier this year, Rousso filed a case which aims to dismiss the law because he believes that it is unconstitutional. But the state responded by filing some requests for information about Rousso that he believes that any lawyer is not required to answer. He added that he believes that this information will be used to incriminate in some way.
Rousso said that the state's strategy is to make sure the case never gets tried with its merits, so they will do everything in their power to stop it. Rousso said that the state has been successful in their endeavor so far. Although Rousso has appealed those requests made by the state, the courts have decided in favor of the state.
An appeals court is set to decide on the case on January 2008. If the appeals court decided to rule against Rousso, he will re-file his case with a substitute plaintiff that he already has planned up and the case will start all over again.
If the case is block by the state, Rousso, with the help of the Poker Players Alliance, will try to use political pressure. Rousso said that he likes to play poker and he believes that online poker is a great innovation. He said that players should be allowed to decide on their own on whether or not they like to play poker in the privacy of their own home.
The legislation that made online poker a criminal offense has never utilized to charge anyone in the state of Washington but has been utilize to pressure owners of online sites to close down.
The legislation was debated for a minute before being by-passed by the state senators and although he cannot prove it, he believes that monetary donations from the land-based casinos in the state helped the law to be approved. The state of Washington is the site of more than twenty-five Indian owned casinos. The law was authored by State Legislator Margarita Prentice.
December 09, 2007