Petitioning Obama, Big Debt super-committee outreach, say "hi" to the DOJ
The big news this week was, of course, the amending of the Department of Justice’s online poker civil suit claiming that Full Tilt Poker was engaged in a “Ponzi scheme” that defrauded its players. Needless to say, this was a sad day for American poker players that underscored our need as players and enthusiasts for consumer protections.
I have spoken with many poker players who have been deeply affected by the failure of Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, and Ultimate Bet to repay its players since Black Friday. While I have roughly five figures of my own money locked up on Full Tilt Poker, this is nothing compared to the heartbreaking stories I have heard from many of my fellow players. We all need to take a stand — for the present AND for the future.
You all received PPA’s update yesterday detailing how to contact the Justice Department’s Victims and Witness Services program. I encourage everyone affected by this to take a good look at both this program and at PPA’s legal analysis of the options available to individual players who have not been able to access their online poker funds.
PPA has worked to ensure that all proposed online poker legislation includes provisions for consumer protections even well before Black Friday. Needless to say, PPA will continue to push for these important provisions. We all deserve safe, licensed, accountable sites on which to play. I am glad the poker community is standing together, united in this fight for our rights.
Here are some actions we can take right now to continue to advocate for our rights. These take less than 60 seconds each!
“We the People” Poker Petition to President Obama
We the People is a new addition to the White House website that allows Americans to petition the Obama Administration on a range of issues. Per the site, “if a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it is sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.”
This is a great way for us to ensure the administration hears from the poker community, so let’s all take a moment to sign the petition electronically.
The site is getting a lot of traffic, so you may get either a “site is under maintenance” or a “404 not found” message. Just try it a few times and you’ll get through. Even with this slight delay, it should take less than one minute to complete:
- Go HERE and click “CREATE AN ACCOUNT.”
- The site will send a confirmation email. Click on the link in that email to continue.
- Click “SIGN THIS PETITION” to vote (if you are not redirected automatically, go HERE to vote).
- Send a prefilled, editable Twitter message to invite others to sign this petition HERE.
Deficit Super Committee Outreach
The United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is made up of 12 members of Congress — six representatives and six senators, with equal representation from Democrats and Republicans — who have been tasked with developing a bipartisan plan to reduce the federal deficit. The plan will be delivered to the full Congress and President Obama by Thanksgiving.
Let’s all take a few moments to visit the super committee’s website HERE to send the super committee members our recommendations. Below is a sample letter that you can edit or cut-and-paste as-is into the message field. Or, better yet, write your own. This is another great opportunity for us to demonstrate support for our position.
SAMPLE LETTER (this has been updated from last week’s sample letter, so feel free to send this one even if you sent the prior one last week)
Dear Honorable Joint Select Committee Members,
HR 2366, the Online Poker Act, is a bipartisan bill that, should it become law, will create thousands of jobs while providing up to $40 billion in new tax revenue for the federal deficit over the next ten years — without raising taxes. It also mandates strong consumer protections and effective age verification.
Former FBI Director Louis Freeh and former Secretary of Homeland Security, Governor, and Assistant District Attorney Tom Ridge support federal online poker licensing because it addresses control of cash flows and mandates consumer protections, while WiredSafety concluded that “combining a thoughtful regulatory scheme with education, technology tools, and support appears to be the most effective means of handling the realities and risks” of online poker.
Licensed U.S.-based horse race wagering sites have proven that online betting sites can successfully implement strong consumer protections while creating American jobs and generating revenues for our government. It is time to allow online poker sites the same opportunity.
I respectfully ask that you seriously consider recommending sensible licensing and regulation of online poker within the U.S. in your deficit reduction report to Congress and the President.
Thank you for your consideration.
Add your name here
Department of Justice Outreach
Let’s ask the Justice Department to consider ALL seized Full Tilt Poker funds as rightfully belonging to affected players. We can do this in less than 30 seconds.
- Send a prefilled, editable pro-poker Twitter message HERE. Verify that your Twitter account is not set to “private”.
- Try to wait at least an hour, then send another Twitter message HERE.
- Like the DoJ Facebook page HERE (you can unlike when done if you wish) and like the pro-poker comment HERE
- Return to the main Facebook page HERE to post and like respectful pro-poker comments. Either cut-and-paste the following, or write your own respectful post: “Funds seized from Full Tilt Poker and its processors rightfully belong to the affected players, whom you have identified as victims of fraud. Will you please use all recovered funds, including those from prior payment processor seizures, to repay affected players? Thank you.”
- Please follow the daily action plan on Twitter HERE and on Facebook HERE.
PPA comes before poker media to take on the tough questions as often as possible, as the questions we receive at these interviews are representative of the issues in which the poker community is most interested. I hope you will find these interesting and informative:
- Video: PPA Board Member and 2004 WSOP Champion Greg Raymer on CNN
- Executive Director John Pappas on NPR’s “All Things Considered” (9/21)
- Podcast: Short Stacked Radio (9/20) — I come on at time point 1:32:10 in Part 1
- Podcast; QuadJacks Poker Radio (9/20): I discussed the Full Tilt Poker issue at length. The podcast should be available later this weekend.
Thank you again for your support!
Proud to play,