April 1, 2009 (PAP Newswire) – Last week’s legal setback for Lee Rousso, the Washington state lawyer who tried to legalize online poker in that state, may have a silver lining: The story has been all over the media for the past week, resulting in a lot of additional publicity for Rousso’s case, and for online poker in general.
Perhaps attention is being paid more to this situation because Washington is among the few states in the U.S. that not only prohibits online gambling, but makes it a felony.
So, Rousso’s one-man crusade to legalize online poker has been generating a fair amount of headlines.
From the Seattle Weekly:
“The trial court ruled against Rousso, and last week so did the Division I Court of Appeals, determining that the state’s interest in regulating gambling outweighs the burdens on interstate commerce. Rousso says he intends to appeal to the state Supreme Court. ‘Given the constitutional issues, I think there’s a good chance they’ll take a look at it,’ he says.
“He’s also looking to the federal government — particularly House Finance Committee chair Barney Frank — to ease restrictions on online poker. Frank has long been an outspoken opponent of the UIGEA, the federal law prohibiting Internet companies from accepting bank payments for gambling.
“’Under the Bush Administration, there wasn’t a lot he could do,’ says Rousso. ‘[But] Barack Obama is a poker player. He’s made statements that we think are favorable towards Internet poker. My understanding is that Barney Frank is going to introduce a bill this month to repeal the UIGEA.’”