My take on the reason for this bill is twofold. 1) This was mostly a move to shutdown the Indian casinos from setting up domestic online poker rooms. Domestic online gambling is illegal but the Indian loophole would have allowed it…and they were working on it. If that happened we would have federal involvement quick and it would be a big deal. So the state forced through a quick bill to make it illegal to do in the state. The bill was created with no enforcement body named. Is that some sort of a tip off that they don’t care so much about the individual?2) And it does help local card rooms and keeps the money in state. Though for me they are actually reducing the influx of $ into the state since I a winning player online that spends my winnings here. Oh well. They assume most are losers (which is true).http://www.washingtonvotes.org/Comment.aspx?ID=23282&ActionID=181551
[T]his new law is odd in that Washington has a thriving brick and mortar casino history. The sponsor of the bill, Senator Margarita Prentice, has been the recipient of several contributions from casino and gaming interests in the state and fellow Senator Jim Honeyford has been called by many pundits the greatest hope of initiating substantive regulation of the booming online poker and gaming industry in the United States. In the state of Washington, there are 65 casinos and poker rooms and residents of the state can also step across the border into Canada, where the province of British Columbia offers five more physical establishments as well. Is this new legislation a way for the state to ensure that people participate in poker and gaming in state taxed and permitted businesses? Isn’t this, in some form, a way that the state is officially sponsoring these outlets while banning participation on the Internet? And if this is true, wouldn’t this be a restriction of trade and perhaps offers a way for the law to be overturned by the State Supreme Court?http://www.pokernews.com/news/2006/5/washington-state-online-poker-legislation.htm
This is a great final question that pokernews poses. Some have said it's similar to the laws regarding internet wine sales, which I've heard through the grapevine is goofily prohibited by several state laws, making it difficult for online wine clubs to get niche products to its members. I'd speculate that wine sales have been explored more deeply through the courts, and may spend some time this next week doing further research to see how analogous it really is.