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Washington State Supreme Court Upholds Legislation to Ban Internet Betting

23 September 2010 by Devon Chappell

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.

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