few days following that decision, Pokerstars informed all players from the state that they would no longer be able to access real money games at the room and issued the following statement:
“PokerStars today announced that it would cease providing real-money poker to residents of Washington State. To date, PokerStars has operated in Washington on the basis of legal opinions where the central advice was that the state could not constitutionally regulate Internet poker, or at least could not discriminate in favor of local cardrooms and against online sites. Last week, however, the Washington Supreme Court for the first time rejected that position and upheld the state’s Internet gaming prohibition.”
In light of this decision, following extensive consultation with their legal advisors, the firm stated that it believes that the right course of action is to now block real money play by Washington residents on the PokerStars.com site. They said that this policy will remain in effect until the law changes or subsequent legal challenges succeed. “Our decision to block real money play in Washington does not affect the balance of funds in customer accounts, which remain completely safe. Our payment services team continues to be available to Washington State residents to assist with cashout requests,” said the press release.
“We regret this decision, which will no doubt disappoint our customers in Washington State. However, in all of the jurisdictions where we operate, we are committed to making responsible decisions that are based on a full and considered understanding of the most up-to-date legal advice,” the firm added.
PokerStars remains supportive of passing sensible Internet poker regulation in the United States that will provide much-needed tax revenues and formalize consumer protections. It operates under those conditions, complying with rigorous licensing regimes, for its worldwide operations in the Isle of Man (UK), and for local operations in Italy, France and Estonia.