|In America, attorney and former gubernatorial candidate Lee Rousso has lost his case against the western state of Washington’s ban on online poker.|
Judge Mary Roberts upheld the law banning Internet poker, which makes playing the game online a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, in King County Superior Court last week and rejected the argument that it is unconstitutional.
“The vast majority of Washington citizens have no objection whatsoever if their neighbour, co-worker, relative is playing poker on the Internet from the privacy of their own home,' said Russo.
The ban was passed in 2006 and changed the penalty for Internet gambling from a gross misdemeanour to a Class C felony, putting it on an equal footing to torturing animals or making threats against the Governor. It became effective in June of that year and Rousso, who also serves as a state representative for the Poker Players Alliance, filed legal action challenging its constitutionality, as it did not stop the state lottery or taxable casinos.
Officials for the Washington State Gambling Commission stated that the ban was designed to stiffen penalties against the operators of online casinos and that the body had no plans to arrest players. It stated that the provisions were also designed to make gamblers realise that placing bets through unregulated, offshore casinos is risky,” said Susan Arland from the Washington State Gambling Commission.
'You don't know who's behind that screen. You don't know if the games are unfair or honest. You don't know if you will get paid your winnings. Also, by disclosing information that should be secure, you could be the victim of identity theft or credit card fraud.'
Rousso stated that the ban is the stiffest in the nation and he plans to appeal.