Full Tilt Gets Public about Politics

Lederer encourages players to “Stand up for Poker”

by , Jul 16, 2010 | 11:06 pm

Supposedly, Barney Frank’s HR 2267 — the Internet Gambling, Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act — has a hearing this upcoming Wednesday in Barney Frank’s House Financial Services Committee. What its about is hard to say — we know it’s not the all-important “mark-up”, but beyond that, little else … It’s been put on the schedule with little fanfare and no witness list (which is kinda abnormal, but not totally).

The bill itself seems like it might be struggling, as might have been suspected in a contentious election year. But poker opponents are rallying their troops, with Focus on the Family getting their members to voice their staunch opposition:

The bills represent the most aggressive expansion of gambling in American history.

The instant accessibility and anonymity of Internet gambling sites will only accelerate addiction and increase the negative social and fiscal costs imposed on U.S. citizens, families and nonprofits.

Research shows gambling is already the fastest growing addiction among the Millennial generation.

Congress voted four years ago to pass the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) to combat, not encourage, these costs.

What we know and can prove about groups like FOF — they lie.

You can see they’re even trying to encourage their usual Congressional supporters to not risk losing the all-important Tea-Party vote by claiming our argument about the money online gambling generates as their own, simply flipping things around to contend these bills — despite a recent study about the 10s of thousands of jobs and 10s of billions in tax revenue that licensed and regulated online gambling would create — will “cost” America money.

What jerks. Hope your God is a vengeful one.

Perhaps that’s why Full Tilt has taken the unprecedented move of publicly stating its support for these poker-friendly pieces of legislation, and is calling on its players to reach out to Washington DC. In cooperation with the PPA, Full Tilt (dot-net) has launched a new site — www.fulltilt.standupforpoker.com — that features a video of Howard Lederer encouraging players to take action.

According to Focus on the Family’s shell site “CitizenLink”, Congress will be looking at two bills on Wednesday — both Frank’s bill and the McDermott bill, HR 2268 — with markup planned for a week later, July 28. I’m not so sure that part is certain, actually — poker politicos are saying only that markup will be “soon”.

But if it is just a week-and-a-half away … great! And if not, more reason to be concerned about what poker’s political enemies will stoop to do in an effort to make matters seem even more critical to their membership — which has the influence, if not the power — to derail us.

15 Comments to “Full Tilt Gets Public about Politics ”

  1. Conan776

    The problem is the companion tax bill which the PPA have also been pushing but don’t like to talk about would have us end up just like the French. FTP doesn’t care if winning players are taxed out of existence, on the theory that there will always be fish. Poker chopped up between the online casinos and the Federal taxes ends up like any other House game, merely perceived as a game of skill. Meanwhile, isn’t Lederer on the board of the PPA? LOL, how is this news??

  2. DanM

    >>Meanwhile, isn’t Lederer on the board of the PPA? LOL, how is this news??<< Because Lederer and Full Tilt have always tried to keep that relationship a bit separate from PPA support. What's new and unique is the public attaching of Tilt and the PPA. It represents a certain boldness (or perhaps desperation?) that we haven't seen before. Sites like Pokerati and PTP have never shied away from mentioning the inherent connection between all these entities, but you haven't before seen them push the connection on their own. (Please correct me if I am mistaken.) I'll hold off on the over-taxed concept until we see how the final bill looks. These sorts of matters change, if not on the first go, then with revision legislation. Florida, for example, "legalized" poker 6 years ago, but they just now got it right. While I kinda agree that poker players should wanna make sure we don't overtax ... with 146* entities wanting their fingers in this legislation in some way, we can't expect to get exactly what we want. But the closer we can get to it the better. * Made up number, but I'll bet it's not too far off.

  3. Conan776

    Like the UIGEA should have taught us, there’s the bill that will be getting parades in midday and there’s the bill that Congress will pass in the middle of the night. Whether they are on the same printout is immaterial. The PPA and 2+2 has repeatedly called on poker players to write letters to their Congresspeople supporting them both as a whole. The thing is, the PPA doesn’t care about the government putting extra “sin taxes” on poker players, in other words, treating poker players like tobacco smokers or alcohol drinkers or whatever else. Yet their motto, we’re told, is, “Poker playing is not a crime.” However, their motto is a lie: what the PPA really puts forth to politicians in Washington is the idea that “Poker playing is not a crime, merely a social ill.”

    But, hey, the French were led down the same primrose path.


    Let’s stop pretending that the “Poker Players Alliance” is anything more than an AstroTurf group for the online casinos, poker book publishers, and tax-hungry politicians to hide behind. Sure, the fish take their swimming orders and blindly support it, but why should we be shocked by that development?

  4. Alan C. Lawhon


    Good post. I have a few questions.

    First, I spent quite a bit of time reading through the text of Senator Robert Menendez’s companion bill, (i.e. S.1597), over in the Senate. It is fairly clear – at least to me – that the licensing requirements imposed upon potential “operators” by this legislation are designed to exclude offshore sites like Full Tilt Poker and Poker Stars while clearing the way for “responsible” applicants like Harrah’s and MGM/Mirage. The practical effect of legalization and regulation here in the United States will be to effectively “shut out” sites like Full Tilt and Poker Stars; so I’m mystified as to why folks like Howard Lederer are supporting Chairman Frank and Senator Menendez’s bills. (I guess I just don’t get it.)

    Secondly, Senator Menendez’s bill includes an “opt out” provision which will allow the Governor (or Attorney General) of each state to arbitrarily decide whether or not to opt out his (or her) state from the law. I just happen to live in the great state of Alabama. The two leading candidates for Governor have made it clear that they are dead set against any form of “legalized” gambling, so it’s highly likely that Alabama will be opted out and I’ll be denied the opportunity to play “legal” internet poker – assumming this legislation passes. That being the case, why should I support Congressman Frank’s bill – or the PPA for that matter?

    Alan C. Lawhon
    Huntsville, Alabama

  5. Conan776

    (Actually, let me wind that back. I’m a horrible fish at the tables mostly. And I’m not sure if being a winning player means understanding politics. It’s sort of all about levels, and zero level thinkers, we can guess, are the same all around… er… and I slept with John Edwards… no… ah heck… anyway Vote for Conan776 in 2012, Down with Scott Brown!!)

    Ooh, I have a half bottle of rum left — and so (flings cape) I have other places on the Internet I need to be. To the Conanmobile!

  6. Randy

    Instead of strike lines, how about the delete button.. 🙂

    Great replies gents.

    My Opinion..

    I think it’s completely wrong that any off-shore non-American company is voicing any opinion..(for or against) about any American Law and Legislation. Do they have the right to an opinion? I don’t think so, and if a goup is voicing the same opinion…I’d second and third guess their motives.

    These people talk about “jobs”..ever check out the available positions at these companies? One site used to send them to me..NOT ONE is in AMERICA!!

    The only interest they have in our laws, would be the same interest that other countries have in our steel..and that is monetary gain (a.k.a. greed) because they stand to make millions upon millions(if not more).

    Right now, today and every day, you (Americans) have the ability to play poker online..it’s a completely legal, US based 3D online poker site…and it just happens to be wicked sweet.

    It doesn’t drain your pocket..it’s a low monthly fee(only $19.95 dude). There’s USD cash to be won all day, every day and cool satellites for awesome trips n prizes. They’ve even built a social site, thegoldshaft.com Check it out, goldstrikepoker.com I used the promo code GOLD and got 200,000 vip chips when i joined.

  7. numberline


    What’s to prevent PokerStars or FullTilt from moving onshore if friendly legislation passes? The US market is the core of the online poker market, and poker sites will take all necessary steps to get a legal piece of that action.

    Once poker is legal in the US, you will be able to move to a different state that allows online poker if playing poker online is important to you. Don’t forget that the underlying principle of this legislation is choice. Choice to play or not play. Choice to live in a place that allows playing online, or not. The opt-out is important because it gives congressmen who constantly clamor about “STATES RIGHTS!!!” an out so their constituents can’t claim the federal govt “forced” online poker on them.

  8. Randy

    Great posts gents.

    OK, I’m guessing my last post didn’t get put up because I talked about an American based place that you can play poker legally that isn’t looking to take all your money and isn’t an off-shore entity.

    I think it’s insane that an off-shore foreign company has any degree of opinion on American laws and regulations. There’s only one reason for them to chime in…greed.

    I see them as the new mob…an off-shore mob, greedy to take your money and leave you hanging there. period. It’s completely repulsive that an American group (the PPA) shares the same view as a Non-American company..good word man. All the PPA is..is a money grubbin political group, looking to feed on your pocket book.

    There is the ability to play online poker…right now at this very instant. It’s USA based and USA legal it’s a monthly membership and you can win cash all day every day.

    I’m guessing that I’m not allowed to tell you the name, because my post that had the name in it…wasn’t put up. So, guess you’ll have to find it on your own.

  9. Brian G.

    Screw online poker. I prefer to know what the guy or gal taking my money looks like. Besides, for every 1 person I know that winning online, I know 25 that aren’t. It doesn’t matter to me if online poker becomes fully legal. I am still not playing. Plus, contrary to what was said above, there will not always be fish. Eventually, there is no one left that is willing to keep buying in only to continue losing to two-outers, runner-runner flushes after flopping a straight, etc.

  10. yestbay1

    To Randy, about the legal online poker sites:

    You must know that those sites are not in business for fun; they too exist to make money. They take your monthly fee whether you play or not. Personally, I prefer to play, and let the poker site take its rake, only when I feel like playing and not when I don’t.

    The membership sites probably provide a reasonable service to a certain clientele, but I don’t count myself among them. If they are such a good deal, then maybe they will siphon off some of the players who frequent the current front-runners. But I’m not holding my breath for a big migration of players from one to the other.

  11. DanM

    >>>What’s to prevent PokerStars or FullTilt from moving onshore if friendly legislation passes?<<< quite simply ... the AGA, aka Harrah's, MGM, and Big Casinos. if you watched that hearing, many were comparing it to the process of legalizing drugs, and how if we ever get that, we wouldn't invite the Cali Cartel in just because they have the most experience in production, marketing, and distribution.

  12. DanM

    >>>OK, I’m guessing my last post didn’t get put up because I talked about an American based place that you can play poker legally that isn’t looking to take all your money and isn’t an off-shore entity.
    <<< actually, i think you just got caught in the spam filter and are indeed up. just to let you know we would never delete a comment like you describe unless it was filled with libelous statements and personal attacks. and even then we might just redact those lines.

  13. كازينو

    Hi guys, tried loading this blog through Google RSS reader and got a strange error message, any ideas what could be the issue?

  14. DanM

    hmm, we’ve had that before. i think each time we go through an upgrade you may have to resubscribe. can you try that — unsubscribing and then resubscribing — and let me know what happens? thanks, hameed!

  15. Randy

    No Worries, and thnaks Dan..