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Lawyer Attacks Anti Online Casino Poker Law

Lee Rousso got his court date. Rousso is currently challenging Washington state laws against online gambling and claims that the current laws which ban online poker playing in the state are contradicting U.S. Constitution’s protections of interstate trade. Rousso’s claims resemble the ones made by Antigua and Barbuda at the World Trade Organization. Antigua claimed that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is contradicting the United States’ global trade agreements. In a world of free trade, it’s very tricky to ban online gambling activities.

Rousso is also representing the Poker Players’ Alliance in Washington, which makes sense. We would see Rousso enter the courtroom on September 21 and hopefully his claims will be taken seriously. After all, they touch a sensitive part of the Constitution. The Washington law went into effect last June making it illegal to play online casino poker in the state of Washington. The previous law addressed gambling over the telephone and telegraph and the new one is a revised edition. Under the new rules, online gambling via the internet is part of the disallowed activities, and the offence was increased from a gross misdemeanor to a felony.

The online casino industry was shocked by the new regulations. If you look into it, you would see that in the state of Washington, people that play online poker at online casinos are placed under the same category as people that abuse children and do other horrible acts. This is clearly without any grip to reality. Mainstream and industry media have made the obvious point that almost any kind of land-based gambling has some sort of a niche inside the state. This seems like a direct attempt to act against poker playing, and the court will have to answer Rousso’s claims in detail. Hopefully, the court will make the state come to its senses.

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.