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  1. #1
    Dominique's Avatar
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    Amazing how much legalese there needs to be, but I'll take it. Definitely good news! At least someone understands there are recreational gamblers!
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  3. #3
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    This is great news, although is sort of destroys some plans I was toying with.

    My parents live in the Seattle area, and my wife and kids and I are planning on visiting this summer as part of our vacation plans. So, I've been thinking about issuing press releases announcing I was going to play poker online while at my parent's house. Making a special point to copy all of the enforcement agencies, and getting our reporters to get reactions from them.

    If they completely ignored a very publicized incident, that would probably be pretty newsworthy, and certainly if I was arrested for illegal gambling that would be pretty newsworthy. Especially since, I was planning to just be playing poker online in the free play area of a site so I couldn't actually be convicted of a felony.

    I never asked my wife (or my attorney) what they thought of the idea, but personally I was finding the idea pretty irresistible.

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  4. #4
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    CityGuard is offline Former GPWA Program Manager
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    Haha, you still have your chance to go for it. The bill stipulates primary residence (page 2, line 4), so if you're visiting family or friends it is still a no-no.

    I think I recall hearing about a location where home poker games were legal and it was ok to take a contribution for running them, but poker rooms were no legal (the distinction being the area where the game was held is considered a residence)...and some enterprising folks ended up just using houses and stuffing them with poker tables for their "home games" to get around the restriction. So perhaps avoiding that workaround was the motivation for the language.
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  5. #5
    ogpaper is offline Private Member
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    In all fairness, the law is not yet in effect - so don't go gamble online until the Governor signs it first

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    helpyou is offline Public Member
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    then only the time can say something. we must wait.
    The site www.onlinexcasinos.com has all the information that an online casino gamer needs. Information on the best online casinos . Read the casino game rules, history and gaming strategy of all online casino game. Read the software and payment option review. Online flash casino.
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  7. #7
    Dominique's Avatar
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    According to Microgaming:


    "According to the House Bill 1243 http://www.leg.wa.gov/pub/billinfo/2...re/1243.PL.pdf the law only provides for a defence if a felony occurs as a result of a breach of the conditions set out in the Bill. Reading the text it is still an offence to transmit or receive gambling information. It is only once prosecuted that the Bill allows ‘recreational purposes’ as a defence. Even so people being prosecuted still must provide evidence that the information in question was for ‘the defendants own enjoyment’.

    Therefore there is no change to the blocked 11 states. "

  8. #8
    ogpaper is offline Private Member
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    Microgaming are a funny bunch - what they do is illegal in all 51 states, and yet...

  9. #9
    Dominique's Avatar
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    Now I am not a lawyer and this in not a legal opinion or advice, but gambling online is regulated on a state level and only 11 states have a law against it.

    UIGEA is about money, not gambling per se.

    Now Washington left the old law on the books from what I can see, but amended it so players playing at home for their own enjoyment cannot be prosecuted under it.

    They can theoretically be arrested but have to be let go when they explain the above.

    So as far as playing online the law has become unenforceable and I bet 'ya what no one will be arrrested for playing online. No point to it.

  10. #10
    joeyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelCorfman View Post
    This is great news, although is sort of destroys some plans I was toying with.

    My parents live in the Seattle area, and my wife and kids and I are planning on visiting this summer as part of our vacation plans. So, I've been thinking about issuing press releases announcing I was going to play poker online while at my parent's house. Making a special point to copy all of the enforcement agencies, and getting our reporters to get reactions from them.

    If they completely ignored a very publicized incident, that would probably be pretty newsworthy, and certainly if I was arrested for illegal gambling that would be pretty newsworthy. Especially since, I was planning to just be playing poker online in the free play area of a site so I couldn't actually be convicted of a felony.

    I never asked my wife (or my attorney) what they thought of the idea, but personally I was finding the idea pretty irresistible.

    Michael
    Then I would arrest you because I know you'd be gambling so you can use it as content on your websites, and to further your exposure as a gambling webmaster/affiliate.

    Bundles of webmasters testing the law say, "it's just business", or "it's my job". Plenty of spammers around..

    Burglars consider themselves to be at work when climbing the drainpipe too

  11. #11
    Dominique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeyl View Post
    Then I would arrest you because I know you'd be gambling so you can use it as content on your websites, and to further your exposure as a gambling webmaster/affiliate.
    Testing the law does not equal advertising (and there is nothing wrong with advertising, you can't arrest someone for advertising), it has to do with taking an active part in politics.

    Bundles of webmasters testing the law say, "it's just business", or "it's my job". Plenty of spammers around..
    Are you saying all webmasters are spammers?

    Burglars consider themselves to be at work when climbing the drainpipe too
    What do burglars have to with with a law in Washington State regarding gambling online?

  12. #12
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    Default Correction: This bill has not passed

    The link in the original thread was not working when I tried it, so I did some digging.

    I just spoke with Jennifer with the WA Legislative Hotline (1.800.562.6000) who informed me that this is a mistake, and that no action has been taken on HB 1243 since Jan. 15, 2007. Apparently, they mixed up and posted that 1243 had passed, when in fact it was 1343 that had passed (according to Jennifer).

    You can reach Jennifer at the number above, and ask for Hotline 17 to be connected directly to her.

    Bummer.

  13. #13
    ogpaper is offline Private Member
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    The bill had cleared both chambers when first read, but it is not a law yet. It is sitting in a comittee and still needs a gov sig at the end http://www.ogpaper.com/news/news-0277.html

    That the bill has not passed could be easily discovered by looking at the list of bills passed this year (which are conviniently organized by bill number).

    It is not uncommon to see a lot of gun-jumping in our industry, that's why you should find a reliable sorce for news (self-ad)

  14. #14
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    Thanks for clearing that up!

    Oh well, more waiting....

  15. #15
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    Ha... Too funny. Well, Michael... I suppose you can call me if you need bail money?!
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  16. #16
    GPWA Ryan is offline Former Staff Member
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    Default HR 1243 has not passed or been heard!

    I did some digging to try and clear up the mess on this...

    HR 1243, sponsored by Chris Strow up (and over) there in Washington State not only did not pass, it didn't even receive a hearing yet, according to the Governor's office.

    I spoke with John Lane, the Executive Policy Advisor to the governor.

    This item was originally reported at pocketfives.com, but they did not check the source material apparently.

    I spoke with Anne Crago at the poker players alliance and she told me she was unwilling to speak about the issue because she too felt there had been a mistake. Turns out they posted the vote results, but they were not the votes for Hb 1243...perhaps, they mixed up the results with something else.

    Regardless, online gaming is still illegal in Washington State and the amendment is not under consideration by the governor, the house, nor the senate at this time.

    I will update this after speaking with Rep. Strow's office.

    - Mclane39
    Last edited by GPWA Ryan; 26 April 2007 at 11:43 am.

  17. #17
    Dominique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertmedl View Post
    The link in the original thread was not working when I tried it, so I did some digging.

    I just spoke with Jennifer with the WA Legislative Hotline (1.800.562.6000) who informed me that this is a mistake, and that no action has been taken on HB 1243 since Jan. 15, 2007. Apparently, they mixed up and posted that 1243 had passed, when in fact it was 1343 that had passed (according to Jennifer).

    You can reach Jennifer at the number above, and ask for Hotline 17 to be connected directly to her.

    Bummer.
    We have called this number (Thanks Robert) and confirmed Robert's report.

    The bill number got switched.

  18. #18
    GPWA Ryan is offline Former Staff Member
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    Default Article about the debacle

    An full story on the issue...


    Internet gambling still illegal in Washington

    April 26, 2007
    by Ryan McLane

    Reports that the Washington State legislative branches have passed a bill amending the state's anti-online gaming laws are false, according to the Governor's office today.

    "It didn't pass through the legislature," said John Lane, the Executive Policy Advisor for Washington Governor Christine Gregoire.

    The Washington State legislature posted results for HB 1243, prompting media outlets to report that the bill had passed and was on its way to the Governor's office. The results were actually the votes for HB 1343, a Motor Vehicle Registration bill. An error occurred during the posting, according the Washington State Legislative Hotline.

    HB 1243, a bill sponsored by Rep. Chris Strow, is an attempt to repeal wording in the anti-online gambling statue that makes violators Class C felons. It also allows Washington resident the ability to gamble online in their homes for recreational purposes.

    Other Class C felonies under Washington State law include but are not limited to acts of child molestation, stalking, drive by shootings, threatening the governor, family
    abandonment, heroin possession and unauthorized abortion.

    Persons convicted of a Class C felony face a maximum of 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

    "While I do see the need for protecting our citizens from online gaming that may be scamming innocent victims, I do think that there is also a level of accountability, as an adult, to do as he or she chooses in his or her own home," Strow said. "Most certainly choosing to gamble, or play a game of skill such as poker, should not have been made a crime equivalent to possessing child pornography or threatening the Governor."

    Strow, who originally voted for the measure when it came before the House in 2006, said he would not have voted that way had he known the felony clause was to be added during the reconciliation of the House and Senate bill versions.

    He called the Washington State online gambling prohibition "nanny-stateish" on his Web site and said he would like to make amends for his original vote.

    "I can't imagine why we would want to put people in jail for one to five years for playing poker online," Strow said.

    Strow believes he and several of his colleagues were "sandbagged by the bill's framers who claimed to be "trying to bring state law in line with federal law" by prohibiting online gambling.

    He said his state's legislative branches are suffering from "big brother syndrome" and "exceeding their original intent to fall in line with federal law" by making the punishment levels so severe.

    The Poker Player's Alliance, a Washington D.C. based lobby group fighting for the right to play poker in U.S., is putting their efforts behind the Strow cause. The organization originally released a statement about the amendment's passage, but has since rescinded their comments upon finding out it was based on rumor.

    PPA President Michael Bolcerek told Casino City that his organization has more than 2,500 members in Washington State. An email campaign has been directing members to contact their state officials in order to get the bill a hearing.

    "The PPA urges you to contact the Chairman of the House Commerce and Labor Committee, Representative Steve Conway, and ask him to schedule a hearing for House Bill 1243," Bolcerek in a press release.

    Bolcerek said the likelihood of the bill receiving a hearing depends on how many of the state's poker players get behind the legislation.

    Strow is less optimistic. He said, earlier this year, that the bill "will not see the light of day in its current form." So far he is correct.

    He is looking into alternatives that may receive more congressional support like keeping the law intact, but changing the punishment back to a misdemeanor.

    Online gambling has always been a crime in Washington, but in January of 2006, state senator Margarita Prentice pushed to change the charge involved from a gross misdemeanor to a Class C felony.

    Prentice said she wanted to protect the state from national and international promoters or operators based in Washington State, more specifically, against two ongoing lawsuits that challenged the ambiguity of Washington's online gambling laws.

    Her aim was not the individual gambler, but she believes the law should remain as it stands and called Strow's attempt "completely unnecessary."

    Prentice got unanimous support in the Senate, passing the change by a vote of 44-0. The measure passed in the House by a vote of 93-5 and was signed into law by Gregoire on March 28, 2006.

    The new law took effect on June 7, 2006.

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