Not If, But How …

by , Oct 26, 2011 | 4:46 am

ppa al damato barton hearingAs you know, the House Subcommittee for Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade held a hearing [yesterday] examining the potential regulation of Internet gambling.  The hearing entitled, “Internet Gambling: Is There a Safe Bet?” called upon a variety of witnesses to discuss how best Internet gambling can be regulated in the U.S.  Among the witnesses was Poker Player Alliance Chairman and former Senator, Alfonse D’Amato.  A complete list of witnesses and their full testimonies is available here. You can also watch the full 2 ½ hour Committee hearing on here.

Meeting with members before and after the hearing, I was immensely proud to hear every lawmaker tell us that they are being contacted by poker players. The question on the lawmakers’ minds was not “if” internet poker should be regulated, but rather “how” regulation should look.

Senator D’Amato did an exceptional job and delivered impassioned remarks defending your right to play.  He urged Congress to adopt rules and regulations to ensure American consumers have a safe marketplace in which to play poker on the Internet.  In fact, when it came to consumer protections the conclusion of every witness before the Committee was that regulation was far better than the status quo.  And, more importantly, that sentiment was also expressed almost unanimously by the lawmakers who attended the hearing.  The question on the lawmakers’ minds was not “if” internet poker should be regulated, but rather “how” should regulation look.

We have come a long, long way from just a few short years ago when Congress could only talk about how best to prohibit Internet gambling and poker.  This shift in attitude has much to do with the advocacy efforts of your PPA and the poker community in general who have done so much to educate lawmakers on this issue.  We have turned opponents into champions for our cause and completely changed the debate in Washington D.C.

As I stood with Senator D’Amato today meeting with members of the Committee — before and after the hearing — I was immensely proud to hear every lawmaker tell us that they are being contacted by poker players in their districts. While politicians often give us reason to be cynical about government, one thing is clear, they appreciate hearing from the voters on issues that matter most. Please keep up the pressure and please continue to make your voice heard. It is truly paying off!

We all have much to be proud of, but there is still much more to do.  I hope you will consider the next step in supporting the PPA by becoming a 2012 member today.  We are offering a special $15.00 deal (normally $20.00) that gives you a PPA membership for the remainder of 2011 and all of 2012!  This should be a “snap call” for any poker player who wants to continue the fight for our poker rights.

Other Highlights

  • The PPA would like to thank Congressman Joe Barton for his continued leadership on this issue.  He was excellent at today’s hearing and he is working to educate every member of Congress about the benefits of regulated Internet poker.  Check out his opening statement from today’s hearing.
  • This week the National District Attorney’s Association, the oldest and largest professional organization representing criminal prosecutors in the world, issued a statement in support of regulated Internet poker.
  • Check out a good opinion piece by former FBI Director Louis Freeh and former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge highlighting the need for Internet poker regulation.
  • The Hill, one of the leading publications for Congress, has a good recap of today’s hearing.

Again, I hope you will please stand with the PPA and share in our continued success by becoming a 2012 PPA member today for just $15.00!

Thank you.

Proud to Play,

John A. Pappas
Executive Director

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