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Washington legislature Wins Gambling Ban Case In Supreme Court

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The Washington state Supreme Court issued a ruling on Thursday morning that is unpopular with poker players in the state. The Supreme Court ruled that the state's ban on Internet gambling does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

Lee Rousso, an avid poker player and an attorney based in Renton filed the lawsuit that suggested the ban on Internet gambling in Washington was against the commerce clause in the US constitution. The clause states that interstate and International commerce is largely beyond the reach of state law.

Justice Richard B. Sanders wrote in the ruling that the decision was based solely on the law, The justice did not in any way endorse the law that bans Internet gambling in Washington, only claiming that the Legislature was within their power to enact such a law.

The ruling immediately drew the ire of the Poker Players Alliance, made up of over a million poker players in the US. The Alliance has been lobbying for years to have the current laws in the US changed so the online poker industry becomes regulated in the country.

The state law was created back in 2006, the same year that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was signed into law by President Bush. At the time, the US was considered to be the top online poker market in the world. On Thursday, Justice Sanders did not endorse the state Legislature's decision.

"The Legislature chose the advantages and disadvantages of a ban over the advantages and disadvantages of regulation," said Sanders. "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."

The Supreme Court in Washington has now recently ruled in two high profile Internet gambling cases. Earlier this month the court shut down Betcha.com, a site that allowed gamblers to bet against each other. The site argued that they did not take part in the betting or the payouts, but the Supreme Court did not agree and the site was shut down.

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