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Senator Alfonse D'Amato Joins the PPA

He will Lobby Politicians for an Online Poker Carve-out


Score one for the good guys. Former New York Senator Alfonse D'Amato has agreed to serve as Chairman of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), to be their spokesman, and to lobby for a poker carve-out to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

The PPA is a grassroots organization composed of over 100,000 poker players and enthusiasts from around the United States who have joined together to speak with one voice to promote the game, ensure its integrity, and, most important, to protect poker players' rights.

Who better than 18-year Congressional veteran Alfonse D'Amato to lead the fight? Senator Al, as he is affectionately called, is known for such great accomplishments as requiring Swiss banks to return billions to Holocaust victims. He is known for caring about the needs of the individual constituent and he is a fighter. He does not shy away from a fight; rather, he will embrace the fight to protect poker players' right to play online.

Senator Al posed a question: "What about the veteran who fought for America and now is crippled and cannot get out? Why shouldn't he be able to play a little poker online and meet some friends? Only ambulatory people can play poker? What a tragedy!"

He asked: "Is betting on horseracing any different than playing poker? Why is there a horseracing exemption and a lottery exemption but nothing for poker? Horseracing has a powerful lobbying group. That's all. They have a voice. Poker needs a voice and a loud one."

Senator Alfonse D'Amato is poised to be just that voice.

In between Senator Al's trip from Washington (where he is setting the stage for change), and London (where he plans to educate himself regarding UK online regulation), Senator Al and I met and chatted about the future of poker and how he saw his role.

Senator Al told me, "I am pleased and privileged to be spokesperson for the PPA. The new legislation is like using a cannon to kill a gnat. Just like Prohibition, trying to tell 20-plus million poker players that they can't play poker online, is not going to work.

"People can play poker in a casino, they can bet on horseracing online or play the lottery, but they can't play poker online? This type of hypocrisy brings about contempt. It brings about disrespect for the law and disdain for the lawmakers.

"We have to convince legislators that there is a better way to do what they want, which is protecting our citizens, making sure kids don't play and insuring that money laundering doesn't occur. If we drive out public companies, we run the risk of unscrupulous businessmen taking over. And then what kinds of protections exist? None!

"There's a lot of work to be done. The nature of fighting for an issue like poker doesn't initially gain much support. But this is not just about poker; it is about protecting personal freedoms."

Pick up the next issue of CardPlayer Magazine to read our complete and exclusive interview with Senator Alfonse D'Amato.

Tags: poker law


almost 12 years ago

What a coup for PPA. Senator D'Amato is a brilliant and beautiful human being.


almost 12 years ago

score one for the PPA, maybe I will cough up some dough to them now.


almost 12 years ago

Paul you can't hire a current senator to be a lobbyist. However, you can donate to their re-election campaign.


almost 12 years ago

If anyone thinks that this deal is wasting time and money, either you are a casual poker player who doesn't give a damn about online poker or you are stright up ignorant. Instead of helping PPA to change the UIGEA (like donation), you are wasting your precious time on poker. So do me a favor...just go and play Hide-and-Seek with your kids. This event is for mature adult only!!!


almost 12 years ago

yes, horseracing is a lot different than poker, to answer Al's question.

horseracing, though there may be some abstract element of skill, is largely pure gambling. while poker, like man things in life (the stock market leaps to mind) invovles a great deal of chance, in the long run, it is not gambling any more than, and probably much less than, say, the stock market. it has a large luck element over the short term, which has caused its "gambling" type appeal, but is an enormously complex and sophisticated game

this critical difference -- which any good player is well aware of -- needs to be emphasized. poker is a complex game like bridge and chess, albeit with more luck in the short run hence increasing its attractiveness and appeal to a wider audience. anybody doubting this reality needs to reed some of sklansky and miller and harrington's books, etc.

we increasinbgly are living in a mini fascist country that likes to tell other people what to do while pretending to be all about "freedom" without even knowing what it means, and that we are better than everybody else. these harsh and somewhat hidden political realities aside, anyone who plays this and actually visits pokers, is a major donk if they are not or don't become a major member of the PPA.

its speaks for you, donk/donkette. get on board.