SAD NEWS FROM WASHINGTON

Casinomeister

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SAD NEWS FROM WASHINGTON

Lee Roussos challenge to anti-online gambling law rejected

Hopes that the state of Washington may be dissuaded from its policy of imposing excessive Felony C punishments on any of its citizens caught gambling online faded this week with the failure of lawyer Lee Roussos's challenge to the law in a King County Court (see previous InfoPowa reports)

While the judge ruled that Rousso had legal standing to bring the suit forward, something he fought 10 months for, she said his challenge did not satisfy the narrow standard to invalidate the law.

But the gutsy lawyer and local Poker Players Alliance director may make one more attempt to bring some sense to the issue, hinting at further action when he told reporters from the Seattle Post that the issue will ultimately be decided by the US Supreme Court.

The punitive measures attached to the anti-online gambling law by Washington state legislators equate to those reserved for child molesters and repeat drunk driving offenders, and have been widely criticised as disproportionate and inequitable in a state that approves most other forms of gambling.

"The state loves gambling, it's a gigantic business. It's just the state protecting its turf," Rousso claimed after the hearing, referring to the state-sponsored lottery, Indian casinos and horse racing approved by the state.

Rousso had argued that the 2006 law violates the commerce clause in the U.S. Constitution and is cruel and unusual punishment.

Following his day in court, he relayed Superior Court Judge Mary Roberts' decision rejecting his challenge to some 70 red shirted poker fans who had gathered at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in support of Roussos's case in a placard demonstration.

"That's just the way the game is played," Rousso told the Seattle Post. "The court of law is probably the biggest casino there is. There is virtually no public support for this law."

Poker ace Barry Greenstein was at the courthouse in solidarity with Rousso, and commented on the fact that Washington is the only state that prohibits online betting of any type by its residents.

"The politicians are dictating what you can do in the privacy of your own home. It makes it look like a pretty backward place," he said.

Rousso addressed a pointed rhetorical question to Washington legislators: "Do you really want to throw people in prison who want to play poker?" he asked.
 

Casinomeister

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<gasp!>

Washington State upheld its monopoly protectionist laws!

I'm shocked! :eek:


not
 

GaryWatson

Dormant account
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Jun 15, 2007
Location
Europe
So frustrating. I dont think the courtroom will do much good. The result was determined before the evidence was given. Public opinion seems the only way to pressure for a turnaround
 

lots0

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Jun 3, 2006
Location
Hell on Earth
Wht is soo funny is that the government is saying that they don't "intend" to put players in prison for 15 to 20 years for playing poker, that the law was designed to go after the online casinos.

First... Washington state can't go after the online casinos because they are ALL out of their jurisdiction, so Washington state can't touch them.

Second... Why in the name of sanity would the government make a law they don't "intend" to enforce?

Third..... In a year or two, there will be new prosecutors that may well decide to start serious enforcement of this law and start filling up their state prisons with poker players.

I am not in any way shape or form a neo-conservative, but I do like what these guys are saying...
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vinylweatherman

You type well loads
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Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
Perhaps THEY are playing "poker" with online players. They can't get the casinos, but they CAN scare away their customers.
The test will come when they attempt to jail online players.
There are laws here in the UK which impose seemingly disproportionate penalties, but judges do not impose them in the vast majority of cases (as well as this, our prisons are too full;) )

One thing polititians fear the most is losing their jobs (they will say, and do, whatever they feel it takes to keep them). If they began to jail online players, it might cause a stink in the media, with comparisons made with state sponsored monopoly gambling, and perhaps even the light or non-existent penalties imposed on the polititians for their own immoral conduct while in public office.
I would suspect that those not into online gambling have little idea about this draconian law, but if they did, it could well put them off the legalised forms of online gambling that states might which to add to their monopolies.

EU state monopolies are in retreat, as the European court has ruled most of them unlawful under free trade laws, since some EU states licence online gambling, and argue they should be able to offer the service to ALL other EU states.
 

Jasminebed

Game old gal
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Mar 13, 2008
Location
Ontario
Have any arrests been made under these laws? Offering players a "plea bargain" of a fine and probation might further line the state coffers.

Maybe some martyrs could turn themselves in to police and see what happens.

I live in Canada, so I have not followed all the US gambling legislation closely, but where the US goes, we usually follow.
 

me_and_ed

Paleo Meister (means really, really old)
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MM
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Jun 2, 2006
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I live in Canada, so I have not followed all the US gambling legislation closely, but where the US goes, we usually follow.


Not so much as it used to be, even our apothetic government is sick of US policy on many stands (this is not intended to start a debate or piss off US government supporters) .
 

MJackson

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Jan 23, 2008
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Miami, I, I mean Montreal
Have any arrests been made under these laws? Offering players a "plea bargain" of a fine and probation might further line the state coffers.

From everything I know about these types of draconian moralist laws the above statment seems very astute. The conspiracy drug laws, RICO, even tax evasion laws have all been used for exactly the purpose this poster was talking about. The cops hit someone up with a charge that potentially carries 20 or 30 years in prison then say, "hey, you don't really want to go to jail do you?. And there ain't no garuntee and jury isn't going to send you there so why don't you do the smart thing and work with us."

Then 3 bank accounts, a mercedes, a house and 500 hours of community service later, the accused are freed and go back to their lives trying to dodge bad laws meant to give police the maximum power over anyone they choose to indict.
 

Jasminebed

Game old gal
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Location
Ontario
I appreciate being called "astute"

When quoting me, I'd also appreciate the quote being credited. CM's quoting function also allows users to view the whole post if someone wants to read further.
From everything I know about these types of draconian moralist laws the above statment seems very astute. The conspiracy drug laws, RICO, even tax evasion laws have all been used for exactly the purpose this poster was talking about. The cops hit someone up with a charge that potentially carries 20 or 30 years in prison then say, "hey, you don't really want to go to jail do you?. And there ain't no garuntee and jury isn't going to send you there so why don't you do the smart thing and work with us."

Then 3 bank accounts, a mercedes, a house and 500 hours of community service later, the accused are freed and go back to their lives trying to dodge bad laws meant to give police the maximum power over anyone they choose to indict.

Nice expansion on the point I was trying to make MJ.
 
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