Lawsuit filed Against State of Washington against Gambling Ban
Internet gambling is prohibited in the United States under Federal law as of last year, and this has sparked international trade squabbles with nations housing online gambling operations. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed in October and prohibits American banks and credit card companies from processing payments to online gambling businesses outside the country. In addition to thus nationwide ban, Washington State has passed a further ban on any kind on internet gambling. This ban extends an earlier embargo on gambling by telephone or telegraph. Furthermore, it elevated the gravity of the crime from a gross misdemeanor to a felony.
Although no one has yet been prosecuted under the Washington ban, Lawyer and poker aficionado Lee Rousso is taking legal action against the western state of Washington claiming that its online wagering ban infringes the US Constitution’s protections of interstate trade.
Rousso has filed a class action suit in King County Superior Court in an effort to overturn the Washington State’s ban on Internet gambling, a topic that also has the US mired in international trade disputes.
No one has yet been prosecuted under the ban but Rousso's Seattle-based lawsuit argues that the law unfairly protects the in-State gambling industry, including card rooms and casinos. He stated that if unsuccessful, he would push for another change in State law to make Internet poker legal again. This puts the nationwide ban on internet gambling in doubt, as such a precedent may overturn the law.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) subsequently ruled in December that UIGEA unfairly targets offshore casinos and told US officials that America could keep restrictions against sport betting in place if these were also applied to American businesses, such as operators of remote horse betting.
The summation is that the last word has not been said about the legality of gambling in the online casinos in the United States.