Posts Tagged ‘online gambling bans’

Washington State Supreme Court Upholds Legislation to Ban Internet Betting

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

It was a long shot – some would even say pointless. Yet, the fact that Washington State attorney, Lee Rousso, was able to get a Washington Supreme Court to rule on whether or not a relatively recent imposed ban against online poker is unconstitutional, goes to show that a fight is on…and it’s far from over.

Rousso’s got some balls, if you ask me. An avid online poker player himself, Rousso has been pursuing the case for roughly three years to this point. Unhindered by the court’s ruling that the 2006 legislature enacted to ban online gambling did not overeach public policy, nor violate the Commerce Clause in the U.S. Constitution, Rousso says he will now appeal the decision on a federal level with the U.S. Supreme Court. And he wants the online betting community to help him fight the ban.

Rousso had the following to say: “Unfortunately, the court has upheld an unpopular prohibition,” Rousso said in a statement. “Poker players in this state need to make their voices heard. Now more than ever we need to rally together to fight this outrageous law. I hope the poker community will stand with me as I appeal this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

The upside to all this is that Justice Richard B Sanders said in his ruling that the “evidence is not conclusive” and that a decision to uphold the ban should not be taken as an endorsement of the legislation itself, but rather, as an endorsement of the State Legislature’s ability to do so. In other words, there are pros and cons for both regulation and prohibition, and nobody really knows whether one will prove more effectice than the other. Well, at least the people in charge, I mean.

South Africa Bans Online Gambling With High Court Ruling

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

South Africa, you disappoint me. Beautiful plains of South Africa, oh how you disappoint me! Home of the World Cup, stage to end apartheid, oh how deeply you disappoint me!

In case you haven’t heard already, South Africa (which apparently looked as if it would become a promising jurisdiction to regulate online gambling) has done a complete turnaround, swinging 180 degrees in its 2007 policy toward internet betting by making it an illegal activity!

As per a high court judgment given by Judge NB Tuchten on Friday, August 20th, the law basically states that anybody who takes part in online gambling activities of any kind is guilty of breaking the law and will be prosecuted.

Not only does this apply to online casino operators and payment processors, the ruling specifically holds internet service providers and the bettors themselves responsible. And to make matters worse, the Gauteng Gambling Board (land-based casino interests…who else, right?) is shouting from the rooftops that it will legally pursue any individuals or companies attempting to bypass the law.

Granted, I don’t expect there to be any prosecutions against your average online bettors (at least, for the time being). High rollers may be another matter. However, just as it is in the United States, enforcement will likely only have enough resources to go after the operators themselves, i.e., offshore online casinos, poker rooms, sportsbooks and anybody else knowingly taking bets from South African citizens.

While I am very disappointed to hear this news (as is the online gambling community at large and no doubt  many South Africans), it seems as if this story is far from over. If one Judge’s ruling can effectively make a popular activity illegal, there need only to be another ruling to overturn the former. Just like gay marriage was made legal, illegal and legal again in the State of California, online gambling regulation will eventually happen in the United States, and for that matter, South Africa once more.