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PPA Fighting Anti-Internet Poker Bills

Lobbying Group Wants Help From Poker Community


The Poker Players Alliance, a grassroots poker advocacy group in Washington, released an update on its efforts to help fight a pair of proposals that are attempting to ban online gaming, including web poker, across the United States.

The video from PPA Executive Director John Pappas also highlighted some ways that the poker community itself can help amass opposition to the measures.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz are pushing a restoration of the Wire Act. Their efforts are aligned with lobbying by billionaire casino boss Sheldon Adelson, who wants online gambling to be banned, or at least delayed.

Adelson is a mega-donor to the Republican party.

Just three states have legalized and operational online gaming of some kind — Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. All three are realizing revenues from their respective industries.

While Adelson may be willing to “spend whatever it takes” and has found support from some lawmakers on Capitol Hill, it is apparent that his efforts to get online gaming banned are drawing very slim. As New Jersey Sen. Ray Lesniak put it to Card Player late last year:

“There is no way Congress is going to shut the doors on New Jersey after we are generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from Internet gaming. There is no way Congress would shut that down and there is no way the New Jersey Congressional Delegation would do that. I don’t believe there is any way Congressional Representatives would do that to other states because then it could happen to them as well.”

In other words, don’t worry about online poker being banned. However, that implies that there are efforts to push against Adelson’s camp. In addition to the PPA, groups such as the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection are against the prohibition.

A number of states, including California and Pennsylvania, are taking up the online poker issue this year, but none are expected to legalize. The year 2014 might not have seen legalization regardless of Adelson’s efforts, but his campaign certainly does not help.