The state of Washington recently confirmed that it had approved two pro-online poker voter initiatives. Both of these initiatives which are closely related, have been designed to sanction the approval of real-money internet poker and make void the existing law in the state of Washington which states that it is a felony for anyone who is found playing the game of online poker.
One of the key members who is spearheading this initiative is Curtis Woodard, a key member in a group that is in the process of launching a signed petition drive that will look to support both of these proposals.
Washington State has recognized both proposals by granting them official numbers, thereby ensuring that they are eligible for voter participation after the official ballot titles and summaries get created in the coming week.
The official numbers that look to regulate and authorize online poker in Washington is (I-582) and would state that all approved operators must have a physical presence in the state, although that does not mean it has to be a typical brick-and-mortar casino. The other proposal is to nullify the existing criminal penalties (I-583) which is a fallback and a backup, just in case I-582 does not pan out. At the beginning of March, Woodward had announced the formation of the two ballot initiatives which were specifically designed to improve the legal outlook of poker in Washington.
In a statement, Curtis Woodard said
Adoption of I-582 would make I-583 moot. These are initiatives to the legislature which means our goal is to get the 2014 legislature to adopt one of these measures, or adopt their own measure on this issue. Failing that, we then have a shot at the polls in November ’14. While we are gathering signatures, we will also be seeking allies in the legislature who could themselves introduce these measures in the nest session, should we fail to collect the required number of signatures.
All those players and supports in Washington State who are interested in keeping track of the momentum of this campaigned effort, can do so by going to the group’s site which can be found at waipokernow.com. The website also gives interested individuals the option to download and take copies of the petition which they can then use to circulate and get more signatures.
If you go to the State Elections & Voting web site, you will be able to see the final versions of both I-582 and I-583.