A Superior Court judge in Washington upheld a state law that makes online gambling a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
Poker players itching to play online protested the ruling outside the courthouse following the decision last month.
?We?re good people,? said Andy Weber. ?We?re trying to have some fun, engage in a game of skill.?
Judge Mary Roberts upheld the 2006 law, dismissing the argument that it is unconstitutional.
The state gambling commission supports the law and says it is designed to stiffen penalties against online operators. They add that nobody is planning any raids on homes of online gamblers. They really want to reaffirm that placing bets through unregulated offshore casinos is risky.
?You don?t know who?s behind that screen,? said Susan Arland of the Washington State Gambling Commission. ?You don?t know if the games are unfair or honest. You don?t know if you will get paid your winnings.
?Also, by disclosing information that should be secure, you could be the victim of identity theft or credit card fraud.?
Opponents plan to appeal the ruling.