speech advocates speak out about online casinos and laws
Most people know that the
online casinos industry is always undergoing scrutiny and heavy
debate, especially by law makers in the United States.
The online casinos industry was a $12 billion dollar a year
venture last year and the advent of new online casinos, along
with regulation changes, tax rules, and new online casinos
regulations, is expected to boost overall economic productivity
in the United Kingdom, according to a new study about online
casinos and land based casinos, and the gambling entertainment
industry in general.
But in the United States, online casinos remain illegal. Now,
Washington State just made it illegal to play poker at online
casinos in such places like Seattle, Spokane, and Olympia.
The state’s governor Christine Gregoire, has not only taken it
upon herself to outlaw online casinos, she's also made it a
felony with the same punishment given to child predators, second
offense drunk drivers and drug dealers.
Director of the state's gambling commission, Rick Day, recently
warned the Seattle Times.
"My suggestion to you is to remove from your paper any advice
about online gambling and any links to illegal sites," Day said.
Perhaps this wouldn't be so bad if not for the fact that
Washington State citizens are encouraged to gamble in that
state's various Indian land based casinos and the state
lotteries, not to mention you can bet horses online. So why not
online casinos? What’s so different about online casinos from
betting on horses online?
Freedom of speech will ultimately take center stage as a result
of this new law and one of the top online casinos news site
wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see the ACLU get involved
as they have with states such as New Mexico, which attempted
unsuccessfully to block its citizens from accessing online
casinos via internet service providers.
The Seattle Post Intelligencer editorial board has suggested in
a recent editorial that "Washington legislators would do well to
retool their new online casinos law before the courts do it for
The law, which took effect June 7, seems to unjustifiably
threaten free speech rights.
It makes it a felony if someone "knowingly transmits or receives
gambling information" online. That's casting an unacceptably
What is the state's compelling interest in outlawing Internet
gambling, as the federal government already has done? Can any
state law really protect its citizens foolish enough to trust
their fortune -- and their credit cards -- to clandestine
The state's more logical, if cynical, vested interest is in
preserving market share for its revenue-raising games, such as
Lotto, or in protecting its home-grown tribal gambling industry.
In any event, the Legislature went too far in making it a felony
to link to or merely refer to an online gambling site. It's
indicative that lawmakers exempted the news media.
A survey conducted by the paper revealed that nearly 78% of the
readers believe Washington State should not outlaw online