Posts Tagged ‘United States Congress’

D’Amato on the Poker Front Lines

by , Feb 3, 2009 | 7:50 am

As Dan mentioned during his Poker Beat podcast debut last week, former New York Senator Alfonse D’Amato is on the case of the UIGEA in Washington, D.C. He published a piece in Roll Call, the magazine of Capitol Hill, in which he points to online poker – and the billions of dollars in revenue potential – as a potential source of revenue for the economically-challenged U.S. government. It’s worth reprinting here, not because of the message that went out to the politically-minded last week, but because it shows that the Poker Players Alliance is working behind the scenes in D.C. It might be worth it to be patient with the PPA during this time of relative silence, as they may just have a few aces up their sleeves.

Here is the article in full:

The New Deal: Regulate and Tax iPoker
By Alfonse D’Amato
Special to Roll Call
January 27, 2009, 4:21 p.m.

As the Obama administration and the new Congress evaluate their policy priorities, they cannot ignore the significant challenge to fund these programs given our nation’s financial situation. Our new leaders have been dealt a struggling economy, and even President Barack Obama can agree that tax increases to pay for his agenda won’t reveal the winning hand, politically or practically. A possible solution, however, is not out of reach. Our new president needs only to look at his favored form of skillful avocation: poker.

Yes, I said poker. While business leaders and politicians debate how much, or how little, we should regulate the business community, the online poker industry and the millions of Americans who play on the Internet have been crying out for regulation and taxation. The absence of government regulation, and in fact the quixotic efforts to ban Internet poker, has left U.S. consumers vulnerable and left billions in potential tax revenue on the virtual poker table.


PPA Wants Poker Peeps to Keep Hope Alive

Finalization of UIGEA Regs Doesn’t Mean Game Over

by , Nov 13, 2008 | 10:06 am

Despite the admirable efforts of Rep. Barney Frank and others over the past year to stop this from happening, UIGEA regulations have been finalized and set to take effect one day before President-elect Obama takes office. However, compliance of financial institutions won’t be required for more than ten months after that January 19th date. There are actions to be taken in the meantime… now.

The Poker Players Alliance is the voice of the poker community in Washington D.C., and while the PPA lobbies for the cause, the bulk of the responsibility lies with its members to stay active, loud, and in the faces of those who represent us in government. Some tips from the PPA:

There are 4 things you should do to respond to the government’s actions:

1. Call your Member of Congress and let him or her know how disappointed you are by the lame duck administration’s implementation of UIGEA and subsequent erosion of your personal freedom.

PPA Recommended Talking Points:

* I am a constituent, a poker player and a voter.
* I am outraged that the lame duck administration has finalized the UIGEA regulations which will add additional burdens on our already troubled banking sector.
* The UIGEA is also an affront to personal liberty and individual freedoms, two principles this country should be standing up for, not taking apart.
* I urge you and the incoming Administration to Act swiftly to turn back this failed policy and support legislation that truly regulates Internet poker.

2. Send an email to the Obama Transition team and tell President-elect Obama that once in office he should immediately turn back the UIGEA and other “midnight rules” issued by President Bush.

PPA recommended talking points:

* The Bush administration’s last minute, incomplete UIGEA regulations are reckless in that they place unreasonable requirements on our nation’s imperiled financial services industry. Bush was reckless in forcing them on the country in his 11th hour. You should introduce legislation to overturn them.
* These UIGEA regulations set a dangerous precedent for broader censorship of the Internet by the federal government.
* Banks should not be forced by the federal government to act as law enforcement entities.
* Poker is a game of skill where players compete against each other. There is no “house” profiting from losing players like in casino games of chance.
* You should support licensing and regulation of online poker. Congressman Robert Wexler, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, Senator Robert Menendez, and others have sponsored bills that do just that. These bills provide protections for participants with excessive gaming habits. Bush’s UIGEA regulations offer these people nothing.

3. Help the PPA help you. Become a Premium Member of PPA if you are not already. For only $20 you help us be effective advocates for poker and your membership put us in a strong position to defend your rights. If you are already a Premium PPA member please consider making an additional contribution to our fight.

4. Forward this to your friends and stay updated on the latest developments regarding the UIGEA regulations.

The PPA also refers to an article on Politico about a 2009 Democratic effort to reverse “midnight” regulations done through the Bush administration, even ones that have already taken effect. This is the time to let your members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, know how you feel about such an effort and that the UIGEA regulations should be included in any reversals pursued.

Vote Today in the US of A

Missourians Take Special Note of Prop A

by , Nov 4, 2008 | 4:43 am

U.S. citizens, today is Election Day. Not only is the office of the presidency on the line, but there are important congressional seats and important propositions on ballots as well. And despite my previous biased posts about my presidential candidate of choice, I am refraining from pushing that here. My only point is that you vote. Your vote is your voice, and it is of the ultimate importance that you express it today.

Please vote.

What I will mention with a bias is an important proposition on the Missouri ballot. Prop A will repeal the $500 loss limit in Missouri casinos, which has long been the reason that those establishments have not attracted major poker tournaments, high-stakes players, or revenue-driving action of any kind. The loss limit was put in place to save gamblers from themselves and prevent gambling addictions, as players were restricted to losing no more than $500 in any two-hour period. The ridiculousness of it is obvious, and the limit can be repealed today with a YES vote on Prop A. Casinos would be required to pay a $2 fee per visit toward a Schools First Elementary and Secondary Education Improvement Fund, but the casinos would likely attract more high-stakes players and that additional revenue would likely offset the cost to casinos.

The downside to Prop A is that the number of casinos allowed in Missouri would be limited to those already established or still under construction. (I think that number is 12.) However, the existing casinos would have much more of an opportunity to succeed – and thrive – if the loss limit is repealed, so it seems that the pros outweigh the cons here. More on the initiative here and a few words from the Missouri Gaming Association here.

As a native Missourian, I’m asking that you get out there in the Show Me State and vote YES on Prop A. (I am California Jen, and I approve this message.)

Frank & Paul: Anti-UIGEA Superhero Duo?

by , Apr 13, 2008 | 9:16 am

Since the UIGEA became law, poker has desperately needed a superhero to save it. With the U.S. government breathing down our necks, it’s been uncomfortable and a bit scary.

Some organizations have played significant roles in attempting to come to our rescue. The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) and the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative are lobbying on our behalves, but it was going to take some actual members of our Congress to stand up and gain support for our cause.

We seem to have two of them in Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). Not only have them spoken out against the UIGEA, but they have now proposed new legislation to stop it. H.R. 5767 was introduced on Thursday, April 10th, to prohibit the implementation of UIGEA regulations by banks and financial institutions, basically rendering the UIGEA ineffective.

Read the press release from the House Committee on Financial Services here.

Could poker’s superheroes be Frank and Paul? Bet on it.

Now is the time for the poker community to step up and show their support for H.R. 5767. Tell your Congressional representatives to back this legislation and push it through. The PPA and SSIGI websites make it easy to do.

PPA provides a simple form here, as does SSIGI here.