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Posts tagged: poker

Online poker and betting: High Court doubles down

Mike Poppke and his “poker-playing  buddy” Prince, a Malamute/Husky mix, attend a Poker Player Alliance rally on the steps of the state Capitol Thursday.

OLYMPIA – The Washington Supreme Court was asked to decide Thursday whether Internet poker is merely a 21st Century twist on a friendly game played at the kitchen table or “the crack cocaine of gambling.”

Online gambling is illegal in Washington, and should remain that way, assistant attorney general Jerry Ackerman said, because it can’t be regulated and monitored like casino gambling. Internet sites can’t prevent minors from playing, or cut off compulsive gamblers, he said.

But Lee Rousso, who is challenging the law, said the ban is “illegally protectionist” because it helps local gambling operations by banning out-of-state or out-of-country operations. Internet gambling sites are regulated, just not by the state, he said.

The justices seemed skeptical of the legal distinction the state makes between games played in a casino or licensed card room, and on the Internet.

For more on this story, go inside the blog

Poker players raise stakes in Internet gaming fight

Members of the Poker Players Alliance gather on the steps of the Capitol Thursday morning after the Supreme Court hears arguments on a state law that bans Internet gambling.

OLYMPIA — Members of the Poker Players Alliance gathered on the Capitol steps today after arguing the state Supreme Court should strike down the state’s law against online poker.

The state allows people to go to casinos to play poker, but won’t let them play it online in their home, they said. It’s a way of protecting local gambling operations to the detriment of out-of-state and out-of-country gambling operations. That’s a violation of the interstate commerce laws, they contend.

Phil Gordon of Newport, a professional poker player, said it’s ridiculous that he has to leave his home and drive down the road about 200 yards to Idaho to play poker online on his cellphone.

It’s a contemptible law, said former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, chairman of the alliance. And he was speaking assomething of an expert, having voted for some contemptible laws while in Congress.

Not so, says the state. Poker is illegal unless it’s played in a state-regulated facility and there’s no way to regulate Internet gambling sites on such places as the Isle of Man, an island off Great Britain where many are located.

It’s harder to restrict minors and compulsive gamblers from Internet gambling, assistant attorney general  Gerry Ackerman said. “Internet gambling is the crack cocaine of gambling.”

More on the argument and rally this eveing on line and in Friday’s print edition.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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