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Two More Online Gambling Sites Leaving Washington Market

26 January 2011 by admin

MtRainierWashingtonFirst it was Poker Stars and then Full Tilt Poker. Now two more online gambling sites have announced that they are leaving the Washington market, all thanks to anti-gambling laws that are the strictest in the United States.

Back in 2006 (the same year the federal government passed UIGEA), the Evergreen State banned all forms of online gambling, including poker. The Poker Players Alliance, one of the top poker lobbying groups, quickly fought the law and backed petitions to overturn the laws. The PPA sued, saying that the anti-gambling law was unconstitutional because it is in violation of the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.

In September of last year, the Washington Supreme Court upheld the law, declaring that it is constitutional. As a result, it became clear that playing any casino games, or poker, online would be a crime – not only a crime, but a Class C felony!

As a result, Poker Stars almost immediately declared that they would no longer accept players from the state of Washington at their website. Shortly thereafter, Full Tilt Poker followed suit. With two of the biggest name in the industry out of the picture, Washington residents who choose to violate the law (civil disobedience?) haven’t had a whole lot of options. Now two more gambling websites have announced that they will no longer accept wagers from Washington residents.

VIP Sports and are worried about prosecution and asset confiscation by the Washington government and the U.S. federal government, so they are cutting and running. is a betting exchange licensed by the government of Antigua and Barbuda and VIP Sports is an online gambling website that includes sports betting, casino games and poker.

It seems likely that more and more online gambling companies are going to start blocking Washington residents from playing. After all, it is the only U.S. state that has made it crystal clear that the activity is illegal. Some other states say that it is illegal, incorrectly pointing to the Wire Act or some other law. Some professional poker players in Washington have reported that the law has basically made them unemployed. If they want to legally gamble online, they’re going to have to either move to another state or hope they can influence the government to repeal the 2006 law.

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