Washington State Ban On Internet Poker Stays


Rousso appeal fails

Seattle lawyer and Poker Players Alliance supporter Lee Rousso may have reached the end of the line in his litigative attempts to overturn the state of Washington's draconian ban on Internet poker. The feisty lawyer has been battling the state, which allows almost every form of land gambling but imposes draconian penalties on anyone caught wagering on the Internet, for the last two years.

On Monday the state appeals court rejected Rousso's arguments that a 2006 law that forbids Internet gambling in the state violates the clause of the U.S. Constitution that gives the federal government the right to regulate interstate commerce, reports the Seattle Intelligencer.

Last May, a King County Superior Court judge also ruled against Rousso as 70 online poker players rallied outside the courthouse to protest the online poker state ban .

The unanimous decision by three judges of division I of the appeals court is that Rousso would have to show that policing Internet poker imposes excessive burdens and is not worth the state's commitment to regulating gaming.

"Ultimately, given the importance of the state's interest in protecting its citizens from the ills associated with gambling, and the relatively small cost imposed on out-of-state businesses by complying...Rousso has failed to meet his burden...." the ruling opined in part.

Rousso is as yet undecided on his next step. He is encouraged by the appeals court rejection of many of the state's arguments during the hearing, and is considering taking his case to the state Supreme Court.

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