Class C felonies in the state of Washington include child molestation, multiple DWI offenses and drug dealing and – drum roll please – playing poker online.
That’s right. The state that just legalized marijuana usage criminalizes those who are caught playing poker on their computers and smartphones. It’s been this way for over 6 years now and you can thank former Governor Christine Gregoire for that one as part of her overzealous attempt to protect Tribal casinos in the state.
Washington is the only state in the union that criminalizes the actual poker player as opposed to the operator. Not even Utah, which forbids any form of gambling, criminalizes the gambler!
Now comes word that one lawmaker wants to decriminalize online poker in Washington State.
State Rep. Paul Harris presented legislation Monday that reduces that penalty to a “class 3 civil infraction.
Harris’s proposal would apply only to those gambling online “solely for the defendant’s own enjoyment and not as part of an enterprise that derives income from operating an internet web site that transmits or receives gambling information.”
A handful of states are looking to take things a step further and legalize various forms of online gambling. Both Nevada and Delaware have already passed laws doing just that. New Jersey lawmakers anticipate voting on a revised Web gambling bill that meets Governor Chris Christie’s requirements by February 26. Christie sent the measure back to the legislature as part of his conditional veto last week.
- Ace King, Gambling911.com