The State of Online Poker in Washington State

Last week, a watershed event with cataclysmic consequences potentially on par with, say, the eruption of Mt. Rainer, minus the deaths and utter annihilation of a major metropolitan city, happened.

Ppa_120x240_2_1The state of Washington, who hasn’t given us much since Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and the early 90’s version of NickelbackCandlebox–is once again at the forefront of a movement.  On June 7th, it became a Class C felony to play online poker in Washington (click here to view full bill). 

But like most recent efforts to ban online poker, can the proposed laws really be enforced?  And will the law actually keep anyone from playing?

Wicked Chops Poker spoke with prominent Emerald City player, Seattle John, to get his take on the state of online poker in Washington.

WCP: So, you still gonna play online poker?

SJ: Yes, I am still going to play. I am going to not play for a few days and see if anyone makes any news and how they may catch anyone so I can seek to avoid how they may get caught. I have no idea how it is going to be practical to catch anyone playing. In order to make it stick I would imagine they are going to have to catch you actually playing. They have openly said they are not really going after the individual player but more the sites. But since all sites are offshore they really don’t have a chance at stopping them either. I think they law is more for show than anything.

WCP: Then you don’t think there’s really any way to, say, have ISPs block gaming sites?

SJ: No I don’t think there is a practical way to block the sites in our state.

WCP: Has the local media covered this story in detail?

SJ: Yes, it has made the papers, the TV news, and the rumor mill at the cardrooms. It has been all over the press for about two weeks. I watched a small story on the news last night. If you are a poker player and don’t know about it you have been under a rock.

WCP: Finally, what’s your take on this whole mess?

SJ: I think it is a waste of time and energy. There is no practical way of enforcing the law, and I don’t really think it will deter many people from playing online. I think the state should be looking at things that are much more important than trying to stop people from playing poker online. We have legalized cardrooms in this state, a ton of them. So poker is really not the problem. I think they are trying to deter underage gambling with this law the most. If you scare the parents, you get the kids I think.

I think it would have made a lot more sense to figure out a way to legalize it and tax it in this state. That would have been a much more forward looking law. But alas that is not going to happen. I think it is a really bad piece of legislation, and I hope nothing really comes of it because I want to keep playing online.

WCP: Thanks Seattle John.  And readers, as always, lend your support to the PPA to help fight anti-poker legislation.


4 Responses

  1. Doug

    June 10, 2006 12:00 pm, Reply

    Just started reading this site. I haven’t seen any poker site that juggles so many different topics so well. Not to mention the pics are great. Amazing work guys.

  2. snake

    June 10, 2006 12:10 pm, Reply

    Thanks for reading… as they say at G.A. meetings, keep coming back. Also, if you ever have any ideas for stories, interviews, photos, etc., drop us an email.

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