Look at this article on online gambling!!! WTF?

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doublenr

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Time for gamblers to fold
At least if you play online poker, which becomes a felony on June 7
By SAM SKOLNIK AND VANESSA HO
P-I REPORTERS
Beginning next month, Washington residents who play poker or make other types of wagers on the Internet will be committing a Class C felony, equivalent under the law to possessing child pornography, threatening the governor or torturing an animal.
Although the head of the state gambling Commission says it is unlikely that individual online gamblers will be targeted for arrest, the new law carries stiff penalties: as much as five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The new law, which takes effect June 7, passed the Legislature this year without much public attention. But word has begun to spread among gamblers online and in old-fashioned "brick-and-mortar" card rooms, and the players aren't pleased.
"To say playing poker in card rooms is legal but that it's a felony to play online is insane," said Kerry Welsh, 47, of Bellevue.
Welsh is considering taking a wireless computer outside the state Capitol when the law takes effect and playing Internet poker as a protest until he's arrested.
Nobody knows for sure how many Washingtonians gamble online, but the practice is huge and growing, fueled by the popularity of Texas Hold 'em in televised tournaments and multimillion-dollar events such as the world series of poker.
In 2005, revenue from online poker sites was estimated at between $1.5 billion and $2.6 billion in the United States, according to various gambling publications.
The Justice Department believes Internet gambling is prohibited under several federal laws, including the Federal Wire Act.
As a result, most of the big, popular gambling sites are operated outside the United States and aren't directly regulated by the U.S. or state governments.


The Washington law, which upgrades online gambling from a misdemeanor, was an effort to be compatible with federal law, said state Sen. Margarita Prentice, D-Renton. The law applies to all online gambling.
Gambling Commission Director Rick Day and Prentice, who sponsored the legislation, said the law is necessary, partly to protect the gamblers themselves.
Online poker games invite organized crime and money laundering, they said, and it's easier for dishonest players to collude against unsuspecting opponents. And when online gambling operators refuse to pay winners their proceeds, some gamblers have said there is little recourse.
It's also as addictive as other forms of gambling, they add, and more accessible to minors.
Day said the intent of the new law is not to give agents greater incentive to track online gamblers and throw them in prison. Jailing small-time online gamblers is "not the focus of our work," he said.
But he confirmed that commission agents had gone to the homes of several state gamblers (fewer than half a dozen, he said) about a year ago to warn them that such activity was illegal. No one was arrested.
In fact, no one has ever been prosecuted in Washington -- or anywhere nationally, according to gambling publications -- strictly for gambling online.
Day said his priorities are to go after national and international promoters or operators based in Washington state -- and increasingly, to warn gamblers about the risks and illegality of the activity.
Prentice said the measure had the backing of the state Attorney General's Office and the gambling commission. Lobbyists from the card room industry and tribal casinos were almost entirely absent from the effort, she said, even though they stand to benefit from the new law.
The bill passed unanimously in the Senate and with just five dissenting votes in the House. It was signed into law by Gov. Christine Gregoire on March 28.
Criticism of the new law, some of it targeting Prentice, has appeared on various blogs and gambling news Web sites. Much of it centers on the argument that online gamblers have the right to gamble if they choose.
Those concerns were echoed by poker players at several card rooms around Seattle this week.
"What, is Homeland Security going to get involved in this one?" said poker player Wyatt Wettland, 25, during a break at Goldie's Shoreline Casino on Aurora Avenue North. He said he plays online every other day, for two to three hours at a time.
A gas station manager, Wettland said he plays online for free, but wants to start playing for money to try to win one of the large jackpots, which are often thousands of dollars. But he had to wait for his credit-card debt to go down.
Up the street at the Drift On Inn Roadhouse Casino, a man who offered only a first name, Nick, was about to join his first card-room game after playing countless games online. He said the online games have helped him learn the game.
"A felony? That's harsh," he said of the new law. "I think as long as you're 18, you should be able to gamble."
Free or "play money" online poker games are legal, and will not be affected by the new law. But some in the state play poker online for large amounts of money, and a few are even trying to make a career out of it.
Another player, 25-year-old Jeremy, said he'll disregard the new law. "I don't care, I'll still play," he said.
With a degree in wireless communications, Jeremy said he used to work in tech support. But poker is his full-time job now. He figured he spent 20 hours a week playing online and another 20 hours in card rooms. Once a month, he heads to Las Vegas. He is never far from a computer, which sometimes has three games going on at once.
"Everyone plays poker online. People play poker on TV and celebrities endorse it. It seems like it'll be tough to crack down," he said.
He said he has parlayed $1,000 into $13,000 and often wins jackpots of $4,000 to $5,000. Other times, he quits after losing $3,000. But most of the time, he's ahead, he said.
"Poker players don't consider it gambling," he said. "When you win consistently, there's actual skill in it."


P-I reporter Sam Skolnik can be reached at 206-448-8334 or samskolnik@seattlepi.com.

Washington is first, who's next? WTF? This is the stupidest thing ever.
 
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doflovespoker

Guest
Well, we are a few weeks in and I have yet to hear anyone was prosecuted. Remember to get involved in stopping the national move to have similar federal law.
 
twizzybop

twizzybop

Legend
Washington residents who play poker or make other types of wagers on the Internet will be committing a Class C felony,


This should be interesting especially those who play pogo, uproar and what nots in hopes of winning, points, money et-cetra.

Headline news: Mother of 2 Jailed for 5 years cause she was making wagers on pogo.
 
wsorbust

wsorbust

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Mother of 2 Jailed for 5 years cause she was making wagers on pogo.


Good! She belongs in there with the serial killers! lol ;)
 
X

xVillainx

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Wow. Online gambling is now on the same level as possessing child pornography, threatening the governor, and torturing animals. Are you kidding me?
 
C

Cardsharp

Guest
This situation is definatly not a joke but...lol threatening the governor!?!?
 
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stevareno9

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I guess if players were winning and money flowed into country then it could be allright to play as the government could tax it. But when billion go to some Island and people sit at home trying to become a pro and end up broke and beat their wife and kids and do crime to fund their addiction well the gov steps in and shuts it down.
 
B

BearCan

Guest
Learn from history

and there's the problem. this entire situation is exactly like prohibition. it seems we can't learn from history so it repeats itself. people are going to gamble just like they are going to drink and do drugs. you can't stop us. by making laws to drive it underground we lose the ability to regulate and tax. by regulating we can make laws to help limit stupid ass people from going over there heads. we should be making laws to ensure fairness, grievance recourse, and auditable books. by regulating we can tax, tax and tax again. with the govt looking for ways to tax you'd think they'd be all over online gambling to suck it dry.

we already have a working gambling system established in nevada. i see no reason why other states and the federal's can't use it as a bases to create the framework they would like.

people you need to VOTE, blog, write, email every and anybody. a regulated system as screwed up as it will become is far far better then prohibition. Learn from history.
 
shinedown.45

shinedown.45

Legend
most, if not all poker sites are not based in the US and therein lies the problem, the US government can't collect taxes from these sites, so therefore the US government will make it Illegal, they allow alcohol, tobacco and firearms, provided you have proper documentation which allows you to possess any to all of these but they also collect taxes on sales of these items, but how can the US government collect taxes from online poker sites?, they can't so they will make it illegal.
And this IMO is where the problem lies.
Another thing to add, how many ppl have died playing online poker compared to the thousands who have been killed or died as a result of alcohol, tobacco or firearms.
I'm not a US citizen but these views should be brought to your governors or senators
 
B

BearCan

Guest
the sites are offshore because it is illegal. if it was legal some sites would be onshore. I don't know how the different continental european countries handle taxing online gambling. I assume they have treaties. I see no reason why the USofA couldn't be a member to them. countries already have treaties for how to exchange tax info about businesses. seems to me adding gambling tax to the list isn't all that hard. gambling information is no different then say profit from a shipping or oil company.
 
Debi

Debi

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If you will read Nick's link it seems to state that it is a felony unless conducted in the privacy of your home for personal pleasure.

That would mean what we do is okay - and is actually making a strong statement that it is legal.

Sounds like a good thing to me.
 
buckster436

buckster436

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This thread is a Year old, anybody know whatever happened in Washington State about this>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>buck
 
crancko

crancko

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Well... Basically the yanks selected those bible-thumpers to their government themselves. I guess the poker players should have asked them about gambling before voting.
 
Debi

Debi

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Well... Basically the yanks selected those bible-thumpers to their government themselves. I guess the poker players should have asked them about gambling before voting.

We didn't all vote for them. There are powerful lobbyists, groups, companies, etc here. We individuals vote and do the best we can but have a very small voice and say so in the end.

And only a portion of those who live here are yanks. I for one am a rebel. Don't know why you guys over there can't get that straight lol.

Yanks - north
Rebels - south

vi ses!
 
crancko

crancko

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Om jeg fatter, hvor du har dit danske fra????

Yanks, Rebs - potatoes, tomatoes.... pffff

Seriously thought you had lost your mind when schmucko was allowed to take office. Turns out someone over there actually had... :)
 
Mojomax747

Mojomax747

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I wonder how much regret the native indian casino owners have now for not turning up or showing any interest last year when the state originally made it illegal. They were loving it back then without having to do a thing about it. This latest turn around by the state has come back to bite them in the ass. I reckon they will crawl out of the woodwork moaning about it now. To little to late, good for wash state for actually showing some balls and some sense even if it was almost a complete turn around from less then a year ago. I hope the flood gates open now and adults can be treated like adults once more.
 
elmo_24

elmo_24

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i really don't understand all the new gambling laws, why arn't people allowed to spend their money on what they want?
 
Debi

Debi

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Om jeg fatter, hvor du har dit danske fra????

Yanks, Rebs - potatoes, tomatoes.... pffff

Seriously thought you had lost your mind when schmucko was allowed to take office. Turns out someone over there actually had... :)

Min mand arbejder for et dansk firma.
Jeg har nogle danske venner.


And you should hear this spoken with a very southern accent lol.
 
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