Lee Rousso, is an avid online poker player, the Poker Players Alliance Washington State’s Director, a lawyer and is fighting the online gambling ban in Washington State through the court system. His central argument against the internet gambling ban is,
“The central argument is that Washington State’s statute that bans internet poker is protectionist in nature. It protects in-state businesses from out of state competition. The Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution doesn’t allow that. I think it’s clear that online poker is international commerce, which means that the states can’t regulate it.”
Friday the Washington state high court ruled against Rousso and unanimously claimed that the ban in internet gambling has in no way violated the U.S. Constitution. Rousso and his supporters now plan on taking this to the U.S. Supreme Court if possible.
Justice Richard B. Sanders who wrote for the court said “balanced public policy concerns and determined the interests of Washington are best served by banning Internet gambling.” It was also noted by Sanders that the court’s ruling was not an endorsement of the ban, but just an endorsement of the Washington’s legislature to do it.
According to the court’s opinion,
“The Legislature chose the advantages and disadvantages of a ban over the advantages and disadvantages of regulation. The evidence is not conclusive. Many may disagree with the outcome. But the court has no authority to replace the Legislature’s choice with its own.”
Lee Rousso expressed his disappointment through a statement issued from the Poker Players Alliance:
“Unfortunately, the court has upheld an unpopular prohibition. Poker players in this state need to make their voices heard. Now more than ever we need to rally together to fight this outrageous law. I hope the poker community will stand with me as I appeal this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Now, we wait to see if the Supreme Court will hear the case.