Unconfirmed reports earlier this week that Ferndale, WA-located PRWeb – a press release distribution site – had been ordered by the state of Washington to stop promoting online gambling through its press release service have proved difficult to substantiate.
Emails and repeated chasers to both the site and its parent group, Vocus Inc., in Maryland seeking to confirm the ban and the grounds on which it may be based remain unanswered after more than 72 hours
Washington state has accrued some notoriety for its hard-line approach to online gambling whilst allowing most forms of land gambling. The state has gone so far as to make gambling over the Internet a Class C felony punishable by measures usually applied to far more serious and personal crimes.
PRWeb's parent group Vocus is a publicly held company that provides on-demand Web-based software for public relations, distributing press releases over the Internet via RSS. Distribution partners include Yahoo! News, Google News, Lycos News, Topix.net, Excite News and eMediaWire, yet the Washington state ban does not seem to have received wider media attention despite its apparent threat to the principle of free speech and the lack of detail on the legal justification for such a ban.