As the battle between the pro and anti-online gambling forces continues to escalate, one of the leading advocacy groups – the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) – is recruiting a new army to help win their cause. It’s an army made up not of legislators or lobbying groups (though those factors are certainly part of the brigade); but rather of everyday poker players like you and me who want to protect our right to play poker online.
Alliance Urges Action
The call to action came today from PPA, with the group urging anyone who wants to fight back against several proposed federal bans on Internet gambling to follow some simple steps and mobilize.
PPA executive director John Pappas noted that many legislators, as well as industry associations, will be leading the fray to defend poker players’ right to play.
“The National Conference of State Legislatures and the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries…recently expressed their opposition to these efforts on the grounds that they would undermine states’ authority. I encourage all Americans who oppose a ban on our online freedoms to join us in reaching out to your Member of Congress and letting them know you do not support these bills,” Pappas said of the grassroots momentum.
Two Anti-Online Gaming Bills Loom
Two federal anti-gaming bills recently brought before Congress with the backing and blessing of Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson are aimed at returning the interpretation of the 1961 Wire Act to its original legal standing, even though that Act was created decades before the Internet even existed. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) have respectively brought forth S.2159 and H.R.4301 to this effect, while Adelson’s Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling offers its full support to do whatever is necessary to stop online gambling in its tracks – even in states that have already set up regulated and legal gaming sites, such as Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.
Pappas is pointing players to the PPA website to guide them in steps they can take as individuals to fight back against the groundswell of these federal opposition bills. With a video from Pappas himself – as well as simple, clear-cut steps for everyone to take – the online poker advocate hopes to push back with enough power to end any possibility of an online ban coming to fruition.
“We have learned time and time again throughout history that prohibition is not the solution for protecting consumers and actually does more harm than good,” Pappas pointed out. “We cannot stand by and allow for misguided legislation to reverse the incredible advancements we have made in consumer and player protections and the ability of the individual states to determine whether to regulate online poker.”
Players who want to help fight for the cause will find a panoply of easy-to-access tools on the PPA website, including how to influence their own Congressional leaders, ways to reach members of the House and Senate Judiciary committees, and key talking points to engage in discourse with anyone who is undecided or already opposed to legal online gambling.
Naturally, social media will play an important role in this fight, and direct links to key decision-makers’ Twitter pages are included right on the PPA site. With a two-week Congressional recess looming, Pappas encourages poker players to contact their own elected officials right in their home offices, as opposed to in Washington, D.C.
The Poker Players Alliance is a 1,000,000-strong advocacy organization with nonprofit status. Its members are Americans – both online and land-gaming enthusiasts – who wish to maintain the rights of poker players in both the real and virtual worlds to enjoy the game they love.