POKER PLAYER ALLIANCE URGES WASHINGTON STATE LAWMAKERS TO LEGALIZE ONLINE GAMBLING
Pappas points out that legalized internet gambling is safer for consumers and generates tax and jobs for the state.
The Poker Players Alliance's energetic executive director, John Pappas, flew into Washington state this week to give evidence before a Washington state Senate committee on the benefits of online gambling legalization.
Washington has some of the most draconian anti-online gambling laws in the United States,but is re-examining the possibilities through the Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor and Sports.
“Today, thousands of Washingtonians already gamble on offshore sites that provide absolutely no local oversight or protection,” Pappas said in his testimony. “However, this committee can decide whether or not to protect these consumers online.”
Pappas referenced the infamous failure of the Lock Poker site, leaving Washington state and other punters out millions of dollars due to the void in regulation and consumer protection.
The lack of regulatory oversight and consumer protection provisions resulted in a situation where players were left without remedy to recover their money or hold the operator accountable, he said.
"Regulation of iGaming should not be viewed as an expansion of gambling in Washington State, but rather as an opportunity to protect consumers and add a new distribution channel for the state’s existing, and tightly regulated, gaming industry,” Pappas opined, adding that based on the New Jersey results, up to $40 million in new tax revenue could be generated each year from internet gaming.
“Serious consideration should be given to Internet gaming as a new revenue stream, rather than tax increases in other areas. It is a common-sense decision, rooted in sound public policy,” he said.
In related news, the committee also studied a proposal – S5169 – to legalize paid-entry fantasy sports contests in the state. Washington is one of five states where DFS is currently considered illegal.