I’ve heard of the states that are extremely strict on people who participate in home poker games. Oklahoma is one that comes to mind right away as this state declares that anyone caught playing at a home-based poker game where money is exchanged is subject to a misdemeanor. It’s even worse for the host as they could be charged with a felony and could wind up in jail or even prison depending on the case.
However, I wasn’t aware there were states that declared online poker a felony. That is until I came across a recent story about how the state of Washington has this type of law in effect and refuses to overturn it despite pressure from many different sources.
In Washington, the state’s law says that online poker is illegal and anyone caught playing is subject to a $10,000 fine and up to 5 years in prison. This has been in effect since 2006 and has caused plenty of outcry.
And justifiably so too as it’s a little hard to reason that putting an online poker player in the same cell with a rapist or murderer makes sense. Luckily, most other people in the state see how stupid Washington’s government is in allowing this kind of legislature.
Former Washington governor candidate and current lawyer Lee Rousso has sprearheaded the charge to rid the state of their outrageous online poker law. Rousso has been arguing that it is unconstitutional to have such a law and it is only in place to protect the state’s lotteries and live card rooms. Member of the [[Poker_Players_Alliance|Poker Players Alliance (PPA)]] such as [[Barry_Greenstein|Barry Greenstein]] have also made efforts to get the state to overturn its law but Washington refuses.
It’s difficult for me to imagine living in a place like Washington where I could go to prison for playing poker for money over the Internet. It would be like living in a different country from a law stand point and what kind of poker player would want to live in such a place? Hopefully the Washington government will ask themselves the same thing and overturn this ridiculous law.