Attempt To Lighten Gambling Penalties In Washington Fails

A legislative attempt to lessen the penalties of those caught gambling online in Washington state failed on Thursday when the bill failed to make it through the committee stage.

The bill was introduced by State Representative Paul Harris, who aimed to lower the penalty for being caught gambling online to a civil infraction with a $50 fine. Currently gambling online in Washington is a Class C felony which results in severe fines and possible prison time for punters in the Evergreen State.

Harris' bill made it two days in the legislature after the state's Committee on Government Accountability and Oversight refused to allow the bill to move on.

Those disappointed in the outcome of this attempt may have some hope next year, as the measure did gather a bit of support from state politicians, many of whom felt that internet gambling should be decriminalized altogether.

Commenting on his failed attempt and the possibility of retrying next year Representative Harris said: "...some concerns on clarity and requested a few minor fixes, but due to the short amount of time before cut-off we will have to wait until next year's short session to get this passed.”

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