In the U.S. state of Washington a Supreme Court has ruled that online poker is now illegal in the state. Online casino and poker operator PokerStars decided to close its sites for customers and pull out of Washington.
PokerStars is one of the few casino and poker operators to still offer online gambling in the U.S. since the UIGEA was introduced. A high court in the state recently ruled that an online casino gambling law in Washington which is classifies online gambling as a class-c felony, is not against the constitution. The Poker Player Alliance (PPA) has already challenged the law. Shortly after PokerStars decided to withdraw, they sent a mailing to its customers in Washington, in which they explain that they can no longer let them play on the online poker site for money. Thousands of players who enjoy the casino game in the state are affected.
Lawmakers in the state are divided over the issue of online gambling, the decision in Washington and subsequently PokerStars leaving the state. The decision could have far-reaching implications for states that want to criminalize online gambling and use the decision in Washington to implement their own similar gambling laws in their own state. However, there are many proponents of legalized online gambling, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger in California, who wants to legalize online poker. Besides California, the states of New Jersey and Florida also discussed the possibility of legalized online gambling.