PPA rallying for Rousso next week


Lee Rousso is heading to court next week to fight the online poker ban in the state of Washington, and the Poker Players Alliance will be coming out in force to support him.

The poker players' rights group will stage a rally outside the King County Superior Court in Kent, Wash., May 15 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. PT as Lee Rousso finally gets a hearing for his lawsuit against the state's online gambling ban.

According to the Poker Players Alliance, Barry Greenstein and Andy Bloch will also be attending the rally to show their support.

Rousso, a lawyer and the state representative for the PPA in Washington, is challenging the constitutionality of Washington's online gambling ban. He filed the lawsuit on the first day of the 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event, but his case hit a snag last year.

The state of Washington had demanded information, as part of discovery, that Rousso believed was confidential and implicated his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Since then the courts have ruled mostly in Rousso's favor in his discovery dispute; they finally set a hearing date of May 15 for the lawsuit.

Rousso is alleging that the state's online gambling ban fails to comply with the Wire Act passed by the federal government, which has never extended criminal liability to the players, whereas the Washington law makes it a felony to gamble online.

He also accuses the state of imposing a ban on online poker and other online gambling to protect its own gambling industry. Rousso believes that is a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution's commerce clause forbidding individual states from passing protectionist laws against other states' business.

Rousso will submit his final brief on Monday before his hearing on Thursday.

For poker players interested in attending the rally and supporting Rousso, the address is:

Maleng Regional Justice Center
401 - 4th Ave. North
Kent, Washington

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