Posts Tagged ‘the PPA’

The Ins and Outs of SuperPACs

by , Feb 2, 2012 | 5:50 am

Dear dan,

Below is our second DC Update for 2012 available exclusively to 2012 PPA members.  Because we’ve received so many questions from members about PokerPAC and how and why it’s important in our fight for the game we love, I’m providing this week’s DC Update with a bit of background on PACs generally, and specifically why PokerPAC is so important.

PPA DC Update | February 1, 2012 | Bryan Spadaro | Poker Players Alliance

While I am not technically a lobbyist for the PPA, I am excited to write this week’s insider piece to our membership.  This week’s piece is about Political Action Committees, or PAC’s, an area in which I have expertise.


Tiananmen Poker?

by , Jan 30, 2012 | 2:52 pm

Check it out all you haters … PC World magazine, a non-poker-biased publication, has included “online poker lobby” among 10 examples of “How the Web Spurs Political Change”. Though online poker liberalisation doesn’t quite reach the level of using Twitter to overthrow the Egyptian president, Poker Players Alliance activism did receive an “effective” rating, the same as:

  • Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” campaign to stop gay teenagers from killing themselves
  • Russia’s Wintertime Spring to prevent Vladimir Putin from regaining power
  • The Occupy (New York) movement spreading worldwide

Though personally I see Occupy ultimately going the route of Woodstock ’99, overall it’s a good crowd for poker to be runnin’ with. And that sorta social climbing didn’t come because of a Guinness World Record, crazy prop bet, or even a celebrity charity tournament; being on the national radar (in the right way at the right time) comes because of consistent and steady efforts to awaken the right people to what really is total government bullshit! political injustice.

State of the Poker Union

by , Jan 24, 2012 | 6:00 am

I’m fairly certain Barack Obama has known a little bit about the online poker “situation” for a while … at least since the White House released its Strategy to Protect Online Consumers and Support Innovation and National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace on April 15, 2011.

And you gotta think Obama probably got briefed as the DOJ officially changed its position on the Wire Act, September 23rd — the first day of Fall, and the same day the DOJ labeled Full Tilt Poker a Ponzi scheme and took all of Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, and Rafe Furst’s money. But why then did the ever-PR-conscious DOJ wait some 60 business days later until December 23rd — the quietest media day of the year — before telling the rest of America about the Executive Branch’s significant change of digital heart?

I suppose it might not even matter at this point; SOPA and PIPA have been tabled for now, Megaupload has been slapped hard with the same government quarantine the Feds beta-tested on online poker sites, and Kim Dotcom is in jail awaiting a fate that Full Tilt and PokerStars lawyers say he coulda avoided simply by changing his name to Kim Dotnet!

OK, maybe I get a little factually carried away sometimes jest … but John Pappas has a serious message for the President — essentially a 22-second synopsis of all those emails and tweets from the Poker Player Alliance’s 1.2 million members, and a plea for “common sense public policy” on the eve of what could be Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address.

Senate Leadership Negotiating Online Poker Bill

by , Jan 18, 2012 | 5:27 pm

Poker continues to gain ground on Capitol Hill! On Monday, Gambling Compliance reported some excellent news (click here, subscription required) in an article entitled Reid Says DoJ Opinion Gives Congress Incentive for Internet Poker Bill.

The article quotes Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) as follows: “It [the Department of Justice’s clarification of its interpretation of the scope of the Wire Act as not including online poker] (will) give us an incentive to get something done. We cannot have a series of laws around the country related to [Internet] gaming, I know a lot about gaming. I’m a former chairman of the Nevada [Gaming] Commission, and I think it’s very important that we have a national law.” The article further states that Sen. Reid has confirmed that he is negotiating with Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) on a federal online poker bill bill!

When articles like this goes public, lawmakers always look at public reaction. So, let’s all do our part and tell both that we wish for them to push forward with appropriate online poker legislation! Fortunately, we can do this quickly and easily.


Take the Poker Survey – Win an Apple iPad2!

by , Dec 13, 2011 | 2:47 pm

Have you been thinking about buying an iPad? Do you want to help the PPA in its mission to restore your Internet poker freedoms? Well, now is your chance to kill two birds with one stone, by taking this new poker survey. Working with U.S. Gaming Survey, the PPA has created a poker specific survey to help us better understand the playing community and in turn help us better advocate for your interests in Washington DC. Once you’ve fully completed the survey, your name will be entered into a drawing for a brand new Apple iPad2. The survey is completely anonymous, and your personal information will not be shared with anyone. Click on the button below to begin the survey and help the PPA help you! The survey will remain open until December 30th noon EST. The iPad2 prize winner will be announced on January 3rd, 2012.

Phantom Reid Bill, Take 2

by , Nov 17, 2011 | 10:28 am

It’s November, and the online poker political buzz seems ready to kick into high gear … we’ve got the Senate Indian Affairs Committee taking on the issue today (with Al D’Amato testifying on behalf of poker players from the MoneyMaker-Duhamel era) … and the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade revisiting the issue tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, the New York Post is reporting that “the smart money is betting Washington will legalize online poker” … with the suggestion that Harry Reid has his own version of the Barton Bill forthcoming. That’s hardly a surprise around here … but what could be something of a WTF, if it turns out to be true, are reportable rumors that Jon Kyl (R-AZ) will likely be a co-sponsor.

Kyl, of course, is one of the original architects of the UIGEA who will be retiring at the end of the current Congressional session. Ahh, it’s all starting to make a little sense now … can you see the path through Congress starting to emerge?


Internet Poker Legislation Moving Forward

by , Nov 15, 2011 | 3:38 pm

ppa rich muny the engineer2008I have great news to share with everyone. There will be TWO hearings on the online poker issue this week!

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee is holding a hearing to examine the impact of Internet gaming regulation on Indian tribes on Thursday, November 17th at 2:15 PM ET. PPA Chairman former Sen. D’Amato will testify for PPA, to be accompanied by Executive Director John Pappas.

The Senate committee hearing is excellent news for the poker community, as this is not the type of hearing where the poker community would necessarily expect to be invited to provide testimony. The invitation was due both to Sen. D’Amato’s esteemed background and to the activism of all of us in the poker community. Getting a hearing scheduled prior to the Thanksgiving recess was an accomplishment as well. For more, please click here to read PPA’s statement on the issue of tribal online poker, and please click here for details on this important hearing.

Additionally, the U.S. House Subcommittee for Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade will hold another hearing on Internet gaming on Friday, November 18th at 9 AM ET. Please click here for more on this important hearing, and please click here to read PPA’s memo to the subcommittee regarding bot detection technology, how sites handle Internet service disruptions, and discussion of other issues important to the poker community.

These hearings are hard evidence of the great work the poker community has been doing to ensure lawmakers hear from us. I thank everyone for taking the steps necessary to ensure our elected representatives understand that we poker enthusiasts will not back down and will not simply go away!

Thank you again for your continued support!

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.


Sports Betting Mobilized, Full Tilt Downsized & iPoker in Congress

by , Oct 24, 2011 | 2:38 pm



  • Livefeed @ Congress | “iGaming: Is There A Safe Bet?” |
    The House Energy and Commerce Committee will be holding a hearing Oct. 25 called “iGaming: Is There A Safe Bet?” at 10:30AM EST in the Rayburn House Building RM 2123. Details of this hearing (and witness list – ty to @WriterJen for pointing this out) may be found on the Committee website -> here.
  • @AGAupdate posted this testimony from Frank Fahrenkopf for tomorrow’s congressional hearing.

Witness List:

  • Parry Aftab | Member, Board of Advisors Chairman | FairPlayUSA
    —> Witness Testimony
  • Ernest L. Stevens | Chairman | National Indian Gaming Association
    —> Witness Testimony
  • Keith Whyte |Executive Director | National Council on Problem Gambling
    —> Witness Testimony
  • The Honorable Alphonse D’Amato | Chairman | Poker Players Alliance
    —> Witness Testimony
  • Kurt Eggert | Professor of Law| Chapman University School of Law
    —> Witness Testimony
  • Dr. Dan Romer | Director, Adolescent Communication Institute
    —> Witness Testimony

GOP Debate in Vegas, Internet Gaming Hearing in DC Next Week

by , Oct 18, 2011 | 3:49 pm

The PPA has learned that the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee for Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade will hold a hearing on Internet gaming on Tuesday, October 25, 2011. The subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will bring forward a variety of witnesses to discuss regulation of Internet gaming and gather information for a future hearing to examine the merits of Rep. Joe Barton’s Online Poker Act of 2011 (H.R. 2366).

At the time of this email the witnesses for the hearing are still unknown. The PPA and its lobbying team will continue to meet with members of the subcommittee and their staffs leading up to next week’s hearing. We will be asking PPA members whose U.S. Representative is a member of this committee to contact their member directly before the hearing. Please check the PPA website and your inbox for future announcements about this very important hearing.

We have a nice opportunity to make ourselves heard today, so I encourage everyone to participate. CNN is airing this evening’s GOP presidential debate live from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET from the Venetian in Las Vegas. CNN is seeking questions for candidates via the CNN Politics fan page on Facebook, Twitter (using the #CNNDebate hashtag), and their website. So, let’s all submit some pro-poker questions. As this debate is being held in Las Vegas, our issue will be seen as topical.


PPA Meets with DOJ re: Seized Player Funds

by , Oct 11, 2011 | 2:09 pm

The big news this week is PPA’s meeting with the Department of Justice regarding player funds locked up on Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, and Ultimate Bet. Needless to say, this is at the forefront of the concerns of the membership and of the PPA, so I am pleased to report that your PPA has been proactive in pushing for restitution for our members.

From Executive Director John Pappas:

“We still have an open dialogue with [the DOJ] and look forward to more productive conversations down the road. We plan to follow up to make sure the DOJ gets a guarantee that players get restitution through any deal with new Full Tilt management.”

For more on this important story, please check out Poker Players Alliance Meets with DOJ Regarding Full Tilt Poker Player Funds –  Poker News (October 7, 2011).

In other news …

Weekly Update from the PPA

by , Sep 23, 2011 | 3:34 pm

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!



DOJ Adds Lederer, Ferguson, Furst to Online Poker Civil Complaint

by , Sep 20, 2011 | 5:05 pm

So much to say on this latest development … which has two former “heroes” of poker on the front page of CNN for their involvement with criminal activity. About to go on QuadJacks to discuss it live.

full tilt doj chris ferguson howard lederer cnn

In the meantime, and while you’re listening, here’s the DOJ press release that calls Full Tilt Poker a $440 million Ponzi scheme.

And here’s the actual crime novel of the DOJ-SDNY’s proposed amendment to the complaint.

And read below for a statement from the PPA, calling on the DOJ not to forget about the players as they continue to shut it all down.


Reaching Harry Reid, Full Tilt’s Public Statement on Player Funds

by , Sep 13, 2011 | 5:57 pm

I wish to thank the entire poker community for the outstanding work in telling our elected officials that we demand action on the online poker issue. We as individuals have sent more than 100,000 letters and made countless phone calls to lawmakers this year alone. Let’s keep it up!

Additionally, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has ASKED for questions via Twitter for an upcoming town hall. You can send him pro-poker questions in under thirty seconds:

  1. Send a prefilled, editable pro-poker Twitter question: CLICK HERE
  2. Send a second Twitter question for good measure: CLICK HERE
  3. You can track the pro-poker messages here.

I also wish to discuss the ongoing issue with player funds locked up at Ultimate Bet, Absolute Poker, and Full Tilt Poker. As someone with around five figures locked up on Full Tilt Poker, I certainly empathize with the situation.

PPA has issued statements demanding that Full Tilt Poker, Ultimate Bet, and Absolute Poker refund player balances. Additionally, PPA representatives – including me – have made statements in several interviews with various poker media sources with demands for repayment. PPA does not accept the Department of Justice fund seizures as an excuse. We have also publicly praised PokerStars for doing the right thing in refunding its U.S. players.


YouTube Politics

by , Aug 22, 2011 | 6:58 am

youtube town hall pokerThey should have an Apprentice for politics … how fun would it be to watch The Engineer going up against one of those caged models from PETA, an NRA gun fanatic, a GLBT advocate, and maybe a Mason? They could compete in events such as fundraising, petitioning, street protests, cocktail-party schmoozing, direct lobbying, and YouTube … LOLZ, that’s kinda how it is these days as Washington DC tries to make the most of an American Idolized electorate in a social media assembly.

(Go Rich Muny! TID!)

It seems we are indeed making a strong showing for this month’s YouTube Town Hall question; there are actually two online poker questions — one about the Barton Bill (H.R. 2366: the Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection, and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2011) and the other about the Campbell Bill (H.R. 1174:  the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act). However, I’m wondering if either would be selected for YouTube debate, because as far as I can tell, the poker questions are the only ones attached, by number, to specific bills. My guess is few Members would use their YouTube airtime to pimp a single bill that hasn’t even been heard yet in committee . They’re looking to address concepts that may or may not mean something to voters — like freedom and fiscal sensibility, or something grand-sounding like “comprehensive tax reform” — not specific legislation with amendments still being written and a name that won’t even fit on Twitter.

But still, whether or not the online poker questions make it to the next round you can be sure Members are at least taking note of what voters are <s>thinking</s> thumbing.