Breaking News:PokerStars Exit Washington

It seems like the online gambling industry is going from bad to worse in the United States.

Another major setback has hit the US casino industry yet again. Pokerstars decided not to accept accept cash players from Washington State.   Reason being last week’s Supreme Court verdict upheld its decision to disallow internet gambling.

The company’s first move is to withdraw all its activities from the US market since the implementation of the UIGEA in 2006. PokerStars maintained that they have always operated within the ambit of the law and that its activities in the US are above board in retrospect no state or federal law has specifically outlawed its offering.   This message was sent in an e-mail to Washington State’s citizens and was viewed by Poker News Daily.

PokerStars said: “We have operated legally in Washington based on legal advice we feel that the state could not constitutionally regulate Internet poker or discriminate in favour of local card rooms and against internet sites. The Washington Supreme Court held face last week and for the first time rejected the above said and approved the state’s Internet gaming prohibition.”

“After spending long hours in consultation with our legal advisors, the proper procedure to follow now is stop real money players by Washington residents on the site.

“We are committed to make the correct choice in all the jurisdictions we operate in pertaining to our understanding of the most recent legal advice,” the e-mail stipulated.

Internet gaming and poker were prohibited by a bill issued by Washington state law in 2006.   In the event players are found guilty of internet wagering punishment for this violation will result in a misdemeanour to a Class C felony placing playing poker online in the same category as child molestation and is punishable of spending 1 year in prison.   The new legislation also clamps down on any form of casino advertising for internet gaming.

Poker News Daily reported PokerStars’ decision to withdraw has started various forms of debate via message boards at the TwoPlusTwo and forums.   The question is who will be next in line to exit the US market, maybe the second largest internet poker room Full Tilt Poker?

Experts in the US gaming industry fear that this might have a domino effect on other states that might enforce similar legislation.



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