Grassroots Efforts to Revive Washington Online Poker

Posted on March 22nd, 2013 by Renee Kingsley

Grassroots Efforts to Revive Washington Online PokerWashington poker player Curtis Woodard tries a new grassroots approach to have online poker legalized in the toughest State in the US.

Local poker player, Curtis Woodard is pushing for a new initiative to have the game legalized online in Washington. The objective is to introduce two preliminary ballot initiatives ahead of the 2014 election ballot and to spend the time between now and the November ’14 vote trying to gain as much support from the public as possible.

The Washington State Internet Poker Act or WSIPA is the first of Woodard’s initiatives and essentially calls for a fair, legalized and regulated online poker industry in Washington. The bill is more general and encompasses much of the same demands presented by similar bills proposed in other states.

The second bill, the Internet Poker Player Decriminalization Act (IPPDA), is more specific in nature and targets the 2006 law signed in Washington which makes it a felony to wager for real money on poker games over the internet. Several attempts in the past have been made to counter this draconic law, the most recent being the one presented by State Sen. Paul Harris last month, calling for the reduction of the penalty to a class 3 civil infraction. Unfortunately, Harris’ proposal failed to impress and did not pass.

300,000 Pro Poker Signatures Needed

In order for Woodard and his lobbyists to see the progress in their attempts, they will need to secure 300,000 signatures by those who believe in their cause. Woodard said that if the group was successful in getting enough signatures, the measure(s) go before the next legislative session.

There are essentially three things that could happen. One is that the measure is adopted and turned instantly into law. The second is that no action is taken and the case goes to the election ballot and the third is that an alternative is passed and voters can choose between the two measures.

Woodard plans to meet with Tribal leaders and try to garner support from them during the course of the year.

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