Posts Tagged ‘alfonse-damato’

PPA Uses Cheating Scandal Coverage to Bolster Political Push

by , Dec 1, 2008 | 2:16 pm

Nice statement from the Poker Players Alliance just came across the transom. We’ll see if it leads to more coverage of our issue in the non-poker political press. Regardless, I think historically November ’08 will be seen as a period where everything changed for the industry (for better or worse is yet to be determined) … probably the most significant period since Sep/Oct ’06.

Statement by PPA Chairman D’Amato on “60 Minutes” and Washington Post Coverage of the Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet Cheating Scandals

Washington, D.C. – “The recent cheating scandals underscore the need for U.S. licensing and regulation of online poker to help protect consumers. While even the most highly regulated industries are susceptible to fraud and abuse, regulation does provide assurances that when consumers are harmed they have recourse, and that the offenders will be sanctioned. The continued pursuit of poker prohibition, on the other hand, will only drive this industry underground. As the Washington Post pointed out, prohibition represents a widening disconnect between 21st-century technology and 20th-century laws.

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PPA on Justice: This Bullcrap Won’t Fly

by , Nov 13, 2008 | 5:20 pm

The PPA always seems to be doing something every day on our behalf — and now they’re looking to pull together some sort of class-actiony lawsuit against the UIGEA. I like it! Why not be the aggressor in the courts, instead of always playing defense?

Here’s the word that just came over the D’amat-phone:

Dear Dan,

Yesterday, in a move reminiscent of 2006 when the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act [UIGEA] legislation passed in the dead of night, the Bush Administration finalized the UIGEA regulations. These so called “midnight rules” are set to go into effect on January 19th, 2009, the day before President-Elect Obama takes office. Even though the President stated many times he was against midnight rulemaking, his actions undermine those words.

Right now, the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) is preparing for a potential lawsuit against the UIGEA because its vagueness will likely force banks and other payment processors to over-block lawful Internet poker transactions. Thusly, the PPA is looking for a few good men and women to stand with us in a potential lawsuit. As a paid PPA member, your support has been crucial to our successes. The PPA is prepared to underwrite the complete cost of potential litigation we just need members like you to be part of our action.

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RE: UIGEA, Take 2!?! (2)

The giant sucking sound of jobs going overseas?

by , Nov 10, 2008 | 6:01 pm

As per the PPA and Al D’amato’s request, I made my call to the Feds to weigh in on tonight’s planned attempts to strengthen the UIGEA and extend its reach. The call kinda reminded me of calling PartyPoker Customer Service back in the day, with less of an Indian accent, of course … I can only hope someone was listening.

[audio:ppa-call.mp3]

Really, what a night we have in store … heads-up between two Europeans (one from a Socialist country, and another who was born into Communism) for the lion’s share of 14 million American dollars — and, of course, as said by Drew Barrymore two years ago, the World Championship of Poker! At the same time, the remnants (and some new blood) of the anti-democratic-process insurgents pro-UIGEA forces will be trying to further remove the poker industry’s foothold here in the country that gave birth to the game.

You gotta wonder … Is this part of that huge transfer of wealth out of America we’ve been hearing so much about?

(And if anyone knows where we might be able to follow this — right now I’ll be checking the PPA website, but maybe something’s on Cspan? — please let us know.)


UIGEA, Take 2!?!

Yes we can … Put a stop to shameful anti-poker governmenting

by , | 11:20 am

We’ve been burned by these moves before, and the outgoing administration is trying again to strengthen the laws against online gambling/poker … thereby making our efforts in trying to undo them even more difficult. While you’d think a simple call to the White House saying, “Dude, not cool,” would be enough to prevent this “midnight drop” from going down, politics doesn’t work that way.

But we are savvier than we were in 2006 … and Al D’amato and the PPA are rallying the troops to let them know the realities we face — like today! — so we, the poker citizenry, can try to put a stop to it. I know many of you are burned out on political activism regardless of what side of the election sidebets you fell on … but one more time … one more push … will go a long way toward making our lives easier in the future:

Just one week after a historic election the Poker Players Alliance is pitted in a fight to keep anti-Internet poker regulations from being enacted and we NEED YOUR HELP!

The current Administration is hastily finalizing a number of “midnight rules” before they leave office and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) is on the list. See the 11/06 story in Dow Jones. Just like UIGEA was snuck into legislation in the dark of night in 2006, our opponents are again trying an 11th hour sneak job. We need you to help us expose and stop this reckless rulemaking.

Please call the U.S. Federal Reserve and tell them not to approve the UIGEA regulations — Consumer Complaints, 888-851-1920 or Public Affairs, 202-452-2955.

Tell them:

The federal agencies responsible for our nation’s economy should not be focused on Internet poker regulations.

  • Finalization of the UIGEA rules will add additional burdens on our already crippled financial systems.
  • Internet poker is a game of skill and form of recreation for millions of Americans; it should be exempted from the UIGEA.
  • Please do not finalize the UIGEA regulations until their impact on our banking systems and average Americans has been fully studied.

Tell us how the call went by clicking here.

Your call will make a huge difference and will add the public’s voice to these last minute policy decisions our government is poised to make. We can’t stand idly by while they make decisions that will impact our right to play America’s card game. PLEASE CALL TODAY!

Proud to play,
Alfonse D’Amato, Chairman
Poker Players Alliance


Poker Bill Passes Committee

One step closer to undoing the UIGEA

by , Sep 16, 2008 | 2:39 pm

Word from the PPA about Barney Frank’s second attempt to pass a bill through his own committee:

(Sports betting looks to be out … but this could also be a pretty simple way to get poker back in …)

Statement by PPA Chairman D’Amato on Passage of H.R. 6870

Washington, D.C. (September 16, 2008) – Former Senator Alfonse D’Amato, chairman of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the leading poker grassroots advocacy group with more than one million members nationwide, today issued the following statement upon passage of H.R. 6870, the “Payment System Protection Act,” by the House Financial Services Committee.

“The PPA is pleased that the House Financial Services Committee today recognized the need to provide necessary clarification to what constitutes ‘unlawful Internet gambling’ under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) by passing H.R. 6870.

“This bipartisan compromise bill will rightfully advance the UIGEA to become immediately effective for such internet gambling that is clearly unlawful, namely sports betting.  The legislation also appropriately requires a formal rulemaking, overseen by an administrative law judge, to provide the clarification requested by the Department of Treasury and the Federal Reserve, among others, as to the definition of ‘unlawful Internet gambling.’

“Even those who oppose internet gambling should applaud the passage of this legislation as it provides the most realistic opportunity to block truly unlawful internet gambling transactions.

“The PPA congratulates the Republicans and Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee on reaching this strong compromise bill, and we look forward to enactment of this sound public policy during this legislative session.

“We thank Chairman Frank for his continued leadership on this important issue of protecting individual rights and personal responsibility.”


RE: Poker’s Fling with Politics

by , Sep 2, 2008 | 9:51 am

Once specific thing from the Bloomberg article Jen references below that caught my eye … it was the first time I had ever seen a numerical breakdown of the PPA’s money. (I know these are mostly public figures, because of the nature of political finance … but as far as I know, none of us had bothered to look.)

The poker alliance, headed by former New York Republican Senator Alfonse D’Amato, spent $729,750 on lobbying during the first half of 2008, after spending $900,000 in all of 2007. Its political action committee, PokerPAC, began April 11 and raised $43,226 through Aug. 12.

Cool. Rough math … $50 here, $20 there, $5k from Howard Lederer … yep, it all seems to add up to me.


PPA Speaks out against Absolute, Ultimate Bet

D’Amato cites need for oversight, recourse

by , Jul 22, 2008 | 7:24 am

Ret. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato stops short of calling for UN intervention in the Kahnawake Territory, but he does express a desire to go after rogue online poker companies. This just in over the e-transom, from the Poker Players Alliance:

Statement of PPA Chairman Senator Alfonse D’Amato in Response to Online Poker Cheating Scandals

Washington, D.C. (July 22, 2008) – Former Senator Alfonse D’Amato, chairman of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the leading poker grassroots advocacy group with over one million members nationwide, today issued the following statement in response to recent online poker cheating scandals.

“The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) is the political and public policy voice for poker players in America. Central to our mission are advocacy efforts in Washington D.C. and around the country to protect poker players from misguided and vague laws and to establish licensed and regulated Internet poker in the U.S. To be clear, the PPA is not a regulatory body for poker players or the poker industry, nor do we seek to be. We are, however, compelled to speak out when our public policy mission is potentially undermined by actions which present Internet poker in a negative light.

“Trust is paramount in poker. Sadly, this foundation has been undercut by admissions from two well-known online poker companies, Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet, that cheating has occurred on their poker sites. The Poker Players Alliance condemns any and all cheating in poker no matter the forum in which it is played. Because of the current legal uncertainties and the lack of federal regulation and oversight, it is especially troubling when cheating occurs in online poker. This has created an untenable atmosphere and has denied the proper means to investigate allegations, administer due process and then apply appropriate penalties for the wrongdoers. We urge these companies and their regulating authority, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, to provide a full and transparent accounting of these breaches of the public trust to help lift the black cloud that has been placed over the industry.

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HR 5767 Slashed Down at the Kneecaps

Sneaky poker political move falls short in House committee

by , Jun 25, 2008 | 5:18 pm

HR 5767, the poker legislation providing the quickest route to undoing the UIGEA, failed to make it out of committee today. This means anti-UIGEA efforts will likely have to rely on more hard work to rally support behind an unpopular issue than slick process maneuvers for now.

The bill was bare-bones from the start, and the plan was to attach an amendment — the King Amendment (Rep. Peter King – R, NY) — which basically said, “Yo, the banks have to cut off some legal businesses (horse racing) because of this UIGEA thingy and it’s not very effective against the bad guys anyway, so let’s do our banking pals a fave and suspend the whole damn thing while we figure it all out. Cool?”

Sounds like sensible government to me … but apparently some members of the House Financial Services committee were suspicious that sumpin’ was up … and the amendment fell one vote short, 32-32. (It’s a 70-member committee — not sure how it broke down, by party or otherwise, nor who the abstainers/no-shows were.) Without the King Amendment passing by a WIDE margin, the whole strategy behind sneaking pushing a quick bank-fix vote through Congress proper kinda fell apart, so committee chair Rep. Barney Frank decided not to put HR 5767 to a role call vote.

I am pretty sure this effectively kills 5767 … little to no chance it will be resurrected. And I have to say, the results of today’s committee hearing are pretty discouraging. More TK on why, but click below to read the statement from PPA Chairman Alfonse D’Amato, which just came over the transom:

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Re: 2008 Is Probably Not The Year of Getting There

by , May 20, 2008 | 5:25 am

Oops, while rambling on in the previous post, i forgot to share with you the email Alfonse D’Amato sent out today that made me start writing it. He makes some good points while, of course, also trying to give away a seat to the WSOP. My one question for the for-sale figurehead retired senator is: When are you going to start blogging Why age 25? That seems weird.

Dear Dan,

On behalf of the Poker Players Alliance, thank you for being part of our landmark drive to sign up more than one million members nationwide. Speaking with one voice on behalf of the great game, we have become one of the leading grassroots advocacy organizations in the country.

We have expanded our reach coast-to-coast, opened offices in our nation’s capital, and we are fighting each and every day to preserve your ability to play the great game of poker. Politicians are hearing our message – that Poker Is Not a Crime.

Today, I am excited to announce that the PPA is ready to reward you for your participation. We are launching PPA Online, a new and improved Web site, and a brand new membership package of valuable benefits.

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2008 Is Probably Not the Year of Getting There

But that’s OK if you’re the PPA

by , | 5:03 am

Had a pleasant chat with PPA boss John Pappas yesterday about the state of poker legislation. “We have a new website!” he says. OK, that quote’s semi-made up, but he definitely wanted to pimp the Poker Players Alliance’s new forums, benefit packages, and webtronic goodies. Yeah, yeah, website uh-huh … I didn’t tell him that I get most of my PPA on MySpace, where they share rank with Ed, The Poker Atlas, and RawVegas TV.*

Anyhow, in hearing about what they’re trying to achieve, I came to realize just how much progress the PPA has made. There are currently five bills pending in Congress specific to our issue. You can say all you want about the “special interests” … but that’s what we are. And frankly a rather small one in the Beltway schema. Yet those five bills come with 98 unique sponsors — meaning nearly a quarter of the House of Representatives are more than familiar with poker causes and have affirmatively declared themselves on our side. That’s pretty impressive progress over the course of 18 months.

With that said, Pappas doesn’t necessarily expect to see a legally enforceable undoing of the UIGEA this year. Nor do I, nor does Lavigne in Austin, nor does anyone actively working toward that goal. This being a presidential election year, with so many big big issues in play and seats at stake, Congress just isn’t gonna get around to making the world safe for online poker in ’08. I could be wrong on this — and hope I am — but I’m not. Fortunately the PPA leadership and lobbyists seem to recognize that hoping is seldom a good strategy … and while there’s always a chance poker could hit a political miracle on the turn and river, the PPA should shove all-in! what’s important now for the PPA is putting us in a position to succeed in 2009, when table conditions are sure to have changed.

* Pauly, dude, when are you gonna get on MySpace?


Wanna Be a Lobbyist?

by , Oct 5, 2007 | 12:09 pm

PPA logoThe Poker Players Alliance (PPA) is giving its members an opportunity to lobby for their rights as players and supporters of the game.

When: October 22-24
Where: Washington D.C. – Omni Shoreham Hotel & Capitol Hill
Who: Alfonse D’Amato, Howard Lederer, Barry Greenstein, Andy Bloch, Chris Moneymaker, Victor Ramdin and You

All members of the PPA are invited to join in this Policy Conference. The organizers will be teaching attendees how to lobby Congress, and they will schedule a meeting with each person’s individual Congressional representative for the opportunity to convey your thoughts about poker as a game of skill and why it should be regulated, not outlawed. You can have direct influence with the people who represent you in our government.

Check out the PPA’s website for more info. There is a registration form on the site, and when you let them know you’re coming, the PPA will get in touch with your Congressional rep.

October 8th is the last day to book a room at the Omni Shoreham Hotel with the PPA discount. Some of the activities of the weekend will take place at this hotel, and they will be providing transportation to Capitol Hill from there.

Think about it.