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Washington Outlaws Online Casino Gambling

A new law about to take effect in Washington has serious repercussions for online casino fans. New legislation in the state will make online casino gambling a Class C felony, carrying penalties of a $10,000 fine or up to five years in prison. Previously online casino gambling was considered a misdemeanor in the eyes of the law with virtually no prosecutions taking place.

Washington’s State Gambling Commission head, Rick Day, has advised that it remains unlikely that individual online casino gamblers will be targeted for arrest. But he has confirmed that law enforcement agents have visited residences in the past year to warn online casino fans that their gambling is illegal. Day has also issued a stern warning for online casino operators, stating that one of his top priorities is to enforce the new legislation and prosecute local, national or international gaming operators marketing their gaming services in Washington.

The bill that has made online casino gambling a felony passed unanimously in the state Senate with only five dissenting votes in the House. The bill’s sponsor, Senator Margarita Prentice, says that the new laws are designed to protect not only online casino gamblers from dishonest gambling operators but also from themselves. The legislation was signed into law March 28th by Governor Gregoire. All forms of online gambling are prohibited. The one exception to the law is horse racing that is permitted on internet sites approved by the state’s Horse Racing Commission.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.