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  1. #1
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    Default PokerStars blocks play-money games in Washington

    PokerStars has decided to block free-to-play games in Washington state. According to the State Gambling Commission, the online poker giant is one of several providers of “freemium” social casino-style games that opted to withdraw services to state residents last week, following a federal court judgment on the legality of the Big Fish social casino app.

    From USPoker.com

    A recent ruling by Ninth Circuit of U.S. Court of Appeals stated that social casino games are illegal under the State of Washington’s existing gamb ling laws.It began back in 2015 after a woman lost over $1,000 in virtual chips. She sued Churchill Downs, the then-parent company of Big Fish Casino over the loss.

    Under Washington law, gambling is “risking something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance.”

    It all boils down to what constitutes value. Value, according to the law, includes anything that can be exchanged for money or the “the extension of a service, entertainment, or a privilege of playing a game or scheme without charge.”

    The appeals court reversed the decision of the lower court ruling that virtual chips are not a thing of value.

    Big Fish Casino prohibited the sale of virtual chips for money, but it did require players to use virtual chips to play their games. That means virtual chips have a value because players cannot play without them.

    With virtual chips now defined as having value, it stands to reason, play money casino and poker games are in violation of Washington States gambling laws.

    USPoker requested comment from PokerStars on the matter this week and received the following statement from a company spokesperson:

    “On Thursday, March 29, 2018, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that, under Washington State law, free-to-play games violate state gambling regulations. As a result, The Stars Group is immediately taking actions to block play related to social gaming from Washington State. We are reviewing the rulings and ensuring that our activities are in line with state regulations. We are hopeful the law will be clarified and that when it is, we will be able to reinstate all Washington players at their current status.”

    The statement falls in line with the jurisdiction review policy on the PokerStars website.
    Read more here: https://www.uspoker.com/blog/pokerst...hington/22608/

    And, in the most recent This Week in Gambling video, our buddy J. Todd does a nice job explaining just how bizarre this entire situation is. Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/90THazmtteY

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  3. #2
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    Yes, covered this in my other video project. Has some interesting implications. Here is an embedded version of the show:


    .J.Todd, APCW Founder
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    Virtual chips have value because we say they do - despite the fact that you've explicitly said they can't be bought or sold.

    George Orwell's 1984 double-speak world is getting closer - he was just 40 years too soon I think.

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  7. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGooner View Post
    Virtual chips have value because we say they do - despite the fact that you've explicitly said they can't be bought or sold.
    Yup that about sums it up...

    George Orwell's 1984 double-speak world is getting closer - he was just 40 years too soon I think.
    "Orwellian" is a polite way of categorizing LOL
    .J.Todd, APCW Founder
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  9. #5
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    Todd found a way to bypass the gpwa profanity filter..with a video

    Regards

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    It will impact Zynga a lot more, considering that 40% of its revenue now comes from casino games.
    Last edited by Malikbhai; 12 April 2018 at 1:19 pm.

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