he driving force behind the introduction of House Bill 1114 is Curtis Woodward of the Washington iPoker Initiative, a group that has lobbied for the state to legalize some form of online gaming.
Writing in his blog, Woodward said: “For too long, the state has taken a harsh stand against, and then turned a blind eye to, internet poker. “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 protection 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.”
Meanwhile, a new bill was introduced in Mississippi on Monday by Representative Bobby Moak.
The Mississippi Lawful Internet Gaming Act of 2015 has been put forward following previous attempts by Moak to legalize online gaming in the state.
Moak has tried and failed to introduce an online gambling bill each of the past three years.
AB 9 would establish a regulatory structure that would provide all participants, from players to website operators, with “certainty and security that will legitimize the game, support locally-owned businesses, and keep much-needed revenue in the state,” Gatto’s website said.