Washington State Gets Wacky in War Against Online Poker

Wa_2Do you write about online poker?

Ever review a poker site?

Howabout link to one, or perhaps post the occasional affiliate ad?

If you answered yes and live in Washington State, you may be a low-down, dirty rotten criminal, or more specifically, a Class C felon.

A recent article in the Seattle Times by Danny Westneat tells the story of Todd Boutte, a former Wal-Mart worker from Bellingham who ran the website IntegrityCasinoGuide.com. The site reviewed online casinos, had links to them, ran ads and even kept a list of online casinos that allegedly “bilked” players. Since Boutte’s site in no way offered gambling, he wasn’t too worried about Washington State’s new law reaffirming the prohibition against Internet gambling. That was until a state official singled out Boutte’s site as illegal in an article that ran in his hometown paper.

Boutte has since shut his site down.

The director of the state’s gambling commission, Rick Day, explained to Westneat, “It’s what the feds would call ‘aiding and abetting.’ Telling people how to gamble online, where to do it, giving a link to it ‚Äî that’s all obviously enabling something that is illegal.”

It’s also obviously absurd.

According to Westneat, even the Seattle Times may be breaking the new law.

“Gambling officials told me The Seattle Times may be afoul of the law because we print a poker how-to column, ‘Card Shark,’ by gambler Daniel Negreanu. He sometimes tells readers to hone their skills at online casinos. And at the end of each column is a Web address, fullcontactpoker.com, where readers can comment.”

Day told Westneat, “My suggestion to you is to remove from your paper any advice about online gambling and any links to illegal sites.”

Our suggestion to you is to get involved with the Poker Player Alliance now and do what you can to keep the pressure on your state representatives and the folks on Capitol Hill.


4 Responses

  1. Blogs of War

    June 16, 2006 8:18 pm, Reply

    Washington State: Writing About Online Gambling is Illegal

    Be careful who you link to. Danny Westneat has scary news. Washingtons new Internet gambling law is being enforced. The results are frightening:
    The first casualty in the states war on Internet gambling is a local Web site where nobody wa…

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