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Statement regarding access to free online poker sites

Posted on:  April 04, 2018

Last Thursday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a published decision in Kater v. Churchill Downs Inc. (Big Fish Casino).  The Court found that Big Fish Casino’s use of virtual casino chips within its games constitutes gambling under the Washington State Gambling Act, and remanded the case back to the U.S. District Court to allow the civil lawsuit to proceed forward.

Since the decision was published, we have become aware that some online social gaming websites, including Poker Stars, have proactively made the business decision to deny Washington residents access to their sites. We are not a party to the civil court case, we did not testify in the case, and we did not order these sites to discontinue free online play for Washington residents. Customers with concerns should contact these websites directly.

Media Contact: 

Heather Songer
Public Information Officer
Washington State Gambling Commission
(360) 486-3485 desk
(360) 584-2877 cell
pio@wsgc.wa.gov