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The Poker Legislation Forum, Brought to You by the PPA Discussions of various poker-related laws and steps players can take to push for better laws.

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Old 09-30-2010, 09:56 AM   #1
Rich Muny - PPA VP
 
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PokerStars to Stop Serving Washington State Residents

Hi all,

I have sad news. PokerStars has announced that, as a result of the WA State Supreme Court ruling upholding that state's anti-online gaming law, PokerStars has decided to stop serving that state.

Here's the announcement:

Quote:
PokerStars statement on the blocking of players from Washington State

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 our legal advisors, we believe that the right course of action is to now block real money play by Washington residents on the PokerStars.com site. 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.

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.

PokerStars remains supportive of passing sensible Internet poker regulation in the United States that will provide much-needed tax revenues and formalize consumer protections. PokerStars 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.

Last edited by TheEngineer; 09-30-2010 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:01 AM   #2
Rich Muny - PPA VP
 
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Re: Bad News: PokerStars to Stop Serving Washington State Residents

If you haven't done so recently, I recommend we all tell our lawmakers that we demand that they support our right to play. Just go to www.theppa.org/takeaction. It takes just 60 seconds.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:13 AM   #3
Rich Muny - PPA VP
 
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Re: PokerStars to Stop Serving Washington State Residents

Here's their FAQ, from http://www.pokerstars.com/poker/news/washington/faq:

Washington State: Frequently Asked Questions

General
My account
Playing on PokerStars
An important final word
Contact Support
Back to top

General:


Why can I no longer play on PokerStars?


For an explanation of this issue, please review our statement at:
PokerStars statement on the blocking of players from Washington State

My account:

What will happen to my account balance?

Your account balance is completely safe. You are allowed to cash out your balance or transfer it to another player.
To cash out, simply log in to your PokerStars account, click on 'Cashier', and then click on 'Cash Out'. You will then see your available cashout methods, and can select the one that is appropriate for you. If you encounter difficulties, please contact paymentservices@pokerstars.com for direct assistance with your cashout.

What will happen to my tournament tickets and T$?

All pending tournament tickets and T$ balances will be converted to cash and added to your existing balance. This process may take some time to complete, but we plan to complete all conversions by end of day Monday, October 4.

What will happen to my VIP status?

Your VIP status will remain stored. In the event that you move to a another state/country, or Washington's law changes as a result of further court decisions or a change in legislation, your status will be fully restored.
What will happen to my FPPs?

You can purchase any items in the VIP Store until the end of 2010.
By the end of the day on October 1, we will be removing the play-through requirement for all newly purchased VIP Reward Bonuses, so you will be able to purchase cash bonuses based on your VIP status.
Please visit the VIP Store in the PokerStars 'Cashier' window to purchase a cash bonus or other items.

What will happen to real money tournaments that I am currently playing in, or the ones I am already registered in for the future?

You will be allowed to complete any tournaments that you are playing in once the account restriction begins.

We will automatically unregister you from all tournaments that have not started yet.

Can you give me any further information about my account?

We are reviewing other outstanding issues, and will update this page with new information when it becomes available.

Playing on PokerStars:

If I move or I have moved, will I be able to play on PokerStars again?

This restriction only applies to players currently residing in the state of Washington. In the event that you are no longer living in Washington, you are free to play on our site as in the past. However, to do so, you will be required to submit proof that you are actually resident in another location to have your privileges reinstated. Acceptable proof consists of copies of photo identification as well as a recent utility bill showing your new physical address.

Acceptable proof consists of copies of photo identification as well as a recent utility bill showing your new physical address.
Please contact verifications@pokerstars.com to handle this process.

May I play if I ordinarily live outside Washington, but I am visiting Washington?

It is not permitted to play for real money while in the state of Washington. Even if you are simply visiting, you may not play on PokerStars while you are there.

May I play if I ordinarily live in Washington, but I am travelling outside of Washington?

Currently, all accounts registered to a Washington address are blocked from real money play. To remove this block, you must physically reside at a new location outside of Washington on a permanent basis, and be able to prove that you are doing so. This would not be possible to do simply during a visit to another state or country. As such, you are not permitted to play even when travelling outside Washington if you are regularly a resident there.

Can I still play in PokerStars live events?

You are still welcome to play in the PCA or any of our live poker tours. Unfortunately, you will not be able to buy in directly to these events through PokerStars (except with funds that you now have on PokerStars but have not cashed out), as there will be no way for players from Washington to deposit money on our site.

Can I still play for play money?

Yes, players from Washington are free to continue to play for play money on either our .com or our .net site. However, at this time it will not be allowed for Washington residents to participate in freeroll tournaments which have real money prizes.

An important final word:

Is there anything I can do to change the current legal situation in Washington State?

Yes. You can make your feelings regarding the current state of the law in Washington known to your local legislators. We also encourage you to become a member of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) which is a non-profit players' organization with the mission to establish favorable laws that provide poker players with a secure, safe and regulated place to play. To learn more or to join the PPA, visit:

http://www.theppa.org

Contact Support

You can contact support by following this link, or by emailing support@pokerstars.com

Last edited by TheEngineer; 10-11-2010 at 11:14 PM. Reason: Fixed link
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:21 AM   #4
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Re: PokerStars to Stop Serving Washington State Residents

the beginning of the end?
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:22 AM   #5
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Re: PokerStars to Stop Serving Washington State Residents

Interesting side note: Today is the 4-year anniversary of another piece of horrible news for online poker.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:24 AM   #6
Rich Muny - PPA VP
 
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Re: PokerStars to Stop Serving Washington State Residents

Quote:
Originally Posted by beaster View Post
the beginning of the end?
Probably not. This law passed before we were at our current strength. Since then, we beat back efforts in Mass. and other states.

Hopefully it's the beginning of the end of posts advocating staying quiet with hope that our opponents will go away. We really do have to stand up for ourselves.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:25 AM   #7
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Re: PokerStars to Stop Serving Washington State Residents

I hope the people who think we should just sit back and let things go as they have been read this!!!


Keep us posted on what we can do to help our friends in Washington state
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:26 AM   #8
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Re: PokerStars to Stop Serving Washington State Residents

Sounds a lot like "We heard we can't do illegal stuff and still get a license if that bill becomes a law. So, we decided we should probably stop doing blatantly illegal stuff." Wonder what happens when that carrot goes away. "We heard there's no real shot at a license. Let's be bad guys."
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:28 AM   #9
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Re: PokerStars to Stop Serving Washington State Residents

Wow, this is terrible news, especially with us DOA on the Federal front for 2010. Sigh.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:29 AM   #10
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Re: PokerStars to Stop Serving Washington State Residents

Well,

This is quite literally awesome. Now I'm resigned to play on ****ty FTP till they block us WA residents too
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:30 AM   #11
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Re: PokerStars to Stop Serving Washington State Residents

Id assume FT will soon follow.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:31 AM   #12
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Re: PokerStars to Stop Serving Washington State Residents

jesus ****ing christ.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:32 AM   #13
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Re: PokerStars to Stop Serving Washington State Residents

This is so depressing, I wish PS gave us a warning so we could consider other options. This is my full time job and I was literally 6,000 vpps from hitting the next milestone.. I don't know how I'm giong to tell my wife.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:32 AM   #14
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Re: PokerStars to Stop Serving Washington State Residents

This should end speculation that Stars will serve the US if denied a license as well.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:32 AM   #15
Rich Muny - PPA VP
 
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Re: PokerStars to Stop Serving Washington State Residents

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMickHead View Post
Sounds a lot like "We heard we can't do illegal stuff and still get a license if that bill becomes a law. So, we decided we should probably stop doing blatantly illegal stuff." Wonder what happens when that carrot goes away. "We heard there's no real shot at a license. Let's be bad guys."
PS has legal opinions showing they are operating legally everywhere they offer services. Unfortunately, as we all know, Washington State's law against online poker was upheld by the state supreme court.
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