Washington State Ballot Initiative for Online Poker
Some of you may know, Washington State was the first state in the US to be dropped first by Pokerstars
, and then FTP, prior to Black Friday. This was due to a State law passed in 2006, and which survived a narrow court challenge in 2009. Once that challenge failed, the sites decided against continuing to offer play to Washington State. Unfortunately for them, it was too little too late.
Violation of that State law in Washington is at the cornerstone of the Black Friday cases, and the Washington State Gaming Commission worked hand in hand with the DoJ to bring the cases that shut down the big three sites. But now the landscape has changed. With the recent reversal in position by the DoJ with regard to the Wire Act, one by one states are passing their own online poker legislation. Even with Federal legislation, Washington would be still out in the cold under the current RCW. But the people can act to change the law themselves, without help or support of the State Legislature, thanks to the Initiative process.
So, in January of next year, at the earliest date allowed by statute, an Initiative to the Voters of Washington State will be introduced that will carve out an exception to that 2006 language specifically for poker, and create some framework under which online poker can be offered in our state. But that is the easy part.
We will need to gather signatures, our goal is 300K to assure we meet the required 241k valid signatures, by the end of June, to qualify for the November 2013 ballot. It will take a small army of volunteers to collect the needed signatures, but surely this can be done. Once qualified for the ballot, a 60% yes vote is required for this gambling issue, so a real campaign will need to be mounted at that time. Between now and then, we need to rally as much support as we can get.
Spread the word to every poker player you know in Washington to get on board and help make this a reality!