Ahhhh, the irony of it all.
In their attempt to prevent online gamblers from exercising their god-given right (thou shalt not not gamble) to bet on their favourite pastimes – be it sports, casino games, bingo, or poker etcetera – Washington State lawmakers are actually encouraging more betting.
In 2006, betting over the Internet became a class C felony in Washington State carrying a sentence of up to 5 years in jail plus a $10,000 fine. Animal torture and possession of child pornography are also class C felonies, but lousy bets according to most odds makers.
To be deemed unlawful in Washington, gambling must comprise a buy-in or paid fee, involve some element of risk, plus offer a payoff as the overall reward, like playing the stock market, for example.
Unfortunately for Washington State, the risk associated with avoiding the $10,000 fine is more of a turn-on to many gamblers than a deterrent.