17May
Full Tilt Bans Washington Players

You know that there’s something wrong with a state’s laws when playing poker – or doing any sort of gambling for that matter – is classified with the same severity as a sexual assault. Yet this simple logic has never stopped Washington from passing laws that severely punish people for simply wanting to use their money in a poker game. As a result, some poker sites have decided to simply ban any players who live there. It’s regrettable, but apparently something that PokerStars considers necessary. Now, things have just become even shakier with Full Tilt following PokerStars’ lead and banning WA players as well.

A Class C Felony

The court at Washington has just classified Online Gambling as a Class C Felony, which puts it in line with sexual assault – a downright absurd idea, all things considered. The state has practically just labeled millions of people in an extremely unflattering manner. Class C Felonies are punishable for up to five years in prison as well as a pretty hefty $10,000 fine. Caught red handed, gamblers might run the risk of ruining their own lives. No matter how you look at it, the idea is simply ridiculous. There is absolutely no way that gambling with real money is as bad as sexual assault, but that’s how Washington is treating it. This ruling has been in place for two months now and it doesn’t look like the state’s going to back out of its decision any time soon.

Full Tilt’s Decision

Because of Washington’s stance on online gambling, major poker sites have decided to walk on the safe track and just wash their hands clean of the state’s players. PokerStars adopted a very inflexible stance, disallowing any and all players from playing in their site. Full Tilt, however, is more flexible with their policies. They’re allowing Washington players to play with real money as long as they’re outside the state’s borders when they do so. This, at least, leaves players – especially those who are playing professionally – with a choice. Now, they can still use their accounts, which they have no doubt invested in with their time and money. You are probably aware that poker sites take big stock in their loyalty programs; those in Washington who got banned without preamble – because of their state’s stupidity, no less – must have truly suffered from PokerStars’ decision.

It’s good that Full Tilt is being more considerate to its players. But really, the one making concessions would be the state, and not the poker rooms themselves.

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