Washington court rules against Lee Rousso

Justice scales

After months of delays the Poker Players Association's Lee Rousso has had his day in court yesterday and the court has ruled that playing online poker in Washington State will remain illegal.

It was a disappointing end to the month's long saga of Rousso and his quest to overturn online gaming laws in the state but after the hearing Rousso declared his intentions to seek and appeal and even take the case to the Supreme Court if he had to.

"There is virtually no public support for this law," said the Seattle-based attorney to a crowd of over 70 poker fans after the hearing. "It's incumbent on each of you tell your politicians how you feel."

Well-known professional poker players Barry Greenstein and Andy Bloch were on location to show their support for the Rousso in the hearing.

Playing online poker in the state of Washington is a Class C felony that is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $10,000. Critics have panned the law as the stiffest in the nation regarding online poker and have called it "unmerited" and "unfair."

For their part officials at the state gambling commission who support the law defend it by saying it was designed to crack down on the online gaming operators not the players themselves. Despite the stiff penalties an online player as yet to be prosecuted.

Rousso has called the law hypocritical considering taxable casinos and state lotteries remain legal.

Rousso filed his case against state on the first day of the 2007 WSOP Main Event and was originally scheduled to have a hearing date on Sept. 21, 2007. The case was delayed several times by the state and at one point the state demanded confidential information from Rousso.

It's difficult to say where the case will go from here although after the hearing Rousso made it clear he will not be giving up the fight anytime soon.

For information about the PPA and Rousso's case go to www.pokerplayersalliance.com. Stay tuned for an exclusive interview with Barry Greenstein about the hearing.

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