Poker advocacy efforts ready for state-by-state push (starting with New Jersey)
I am proud of the effort so many in the poker community made to advocate for federal online poker legislation in 2012 and I thank everyone who participated in ensuring we were all heard. The community fought hard and came back from deep adversity from just a few years ago. After all, the bill that became the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act passed the House by 317-93 as a freestanding bill (it was not added to the SAFE Port Act until later, in the Senate backrooms).
Though it did not pass this year, the awareness raised by the Reid/Kyl and Barton bills will surely help us in the state-by-state fight in 2013. In fact, an impediment to the federal bill’s passage was the desire of some states to authorize their own online poker.
2013 will be an exciting time for the poker community. New Jersey is taking this issue up already. Their General Assembly passed legislation to license online poker by a two-to-one margin, and the NJ State Senate will vote on the bill on Thursday. Other states, like California, are sure to take up this issue pretty quickly as well. Additionally, the federal effort is not over by any means. While PPA will shift some focus to the states, be assured PPA will continue to ensure the US Congress hears from America’s poker players and enthusiasts on this important issue!