Poker Player Alliance to Rally in Olympia

15 May 2010

Lee Rousso, the Poker Players Alliance Washington State’s Director is trying to overturn a Washington State law that makes playing online poker a Class C felony; a Class C felony is equivalent to child pornography and heroin possession. Rousso’s argument is that the law violates the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.

Rousso will testify on May 27th and the PPA has filed an amicus brief in the case and will stage a rally that Thursday at 10am PT at the Washington Supreme Court in Olympia. Washington native and Full Tilt poker pro Phil Gordon will be in attendance.

In an interview with Poker News Daily, Rousso said.

“The central argument is that Washington State’s statute that bans internet poker is protectionist in nature. It protects in-state businesses from out of state competition. The Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution doesn’t allow that. I think it’s clear that online poker is international commerce, which means that the states can’t regulate it.”

Now the Supreme Court will weigh in.

Three-term Republican Senator and PPA Chairman Alfonse D’Amoto, PPA executive Director John Pappas and local members of the PPA will also be attending the rally. Rousso, a lawyer by profession will be representing himself and the PPA will also have a lawyer present.

Filing a joint amicus brief were Cheryl Blake, John Blake, Rob Esene, and Jim Gauley, who are described as “poker players who want to compete in poker games on the internet using gaming sites like PokerStars.”

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