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Washington and Mississippi take a step towards online gambling regulation

January 15, 2015

US States of Washington and Mississippi have recently introduced bills to legalize online gambling (only poker in Washington).

Online poker on the table in Washington

Although Washington in 2006 passed a law prohibits playing online poker in the state, live poker activities are legal in the state in various brick-and-mortar locations. “For too long, the state has taken a harsh stand against, and then turned a blind eye to Internet poker, Curtis Woodward of the Washington iPoker initiative said. This state allows us to play poker in Tribal casinos and licensed card rooms, but considers us felons if we play from the privacy of our homes on our computers. This is not only silly, it is ineffective, as players continue to play on sites operated from outside the state’s reach, and without any real consumer protections. But by allowing reputable operators to serve WA State players, under the regulations set forth and with willful compliance, sketchy offshore sites will be displaced from the market, allowing players to have protections instead of prosecution, and with oversight by the Gambling Commission, while keeping those dollars spent on internet poker in our state, instead of leaving for shady shores.”

New bill introduced in Mississippi on Monday

Representative Bobby Moak, who failed to introduce an online gambling bill in each of the past three years, has one again introduced a new bill earlier this week aiming to legalize online gambling. The bill known as the Mississippi Lawful Internet Gaming Act Of 2015 would allow for Mississippi to enter into agreements with other jurisdictions for the purpose of sharing player liquidity including, other states, tribal governments and even foreign countries.The bill explicitly states that illegal offshore online gambling sites are a problem for legal gaming and grants internet service providers the authority to block access to such sites. In addition, those individuals convicted of offering illegal online gaming face 10 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines. Companies convicted face up to $250,000 in fines for each violation.

Sources: iGamingBusiness & PokerFuse


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