Weekly Update from Rich Muny, VP of Player Relations
I have breaking news to share with you. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) will soon introduce Senate legislation to expand the Wire Act to ban Internet poker (along with other forms of Internet betting) across our great nation!
In an interview with GamblingCompliance (link to article, subscription required), Graham articulated firm opposition to online betting. When asked about a poker carve-out, he was adamant in his rejection, going so as to say he would even oppose other bills with carve-outs, specifically mentioning the one proposed by Senators Harry Reid and Dean Heller of Nevada.
Interestingly, this comes right as Nevada and Delaware announced the nation’s first online poker compact.
As Venetian / Las Vegas Sands and CEO Sheldon Adelson continue their anti-online poker effort, the poker community faces challenges as well as opportunities. On my webcast, former Congresswoman Mary Bono (R-CA) reminded us that no one knows if this will pass or not, but that she can guarantee we will not succeed if we fail to fight back. PPA Executive Director John Pappas will keep fighting back. I will keep fighting back. In fact, the entire poker community will keep fighting back! I know we can count on you to do your part.
PPA Twitter Town Hall this Evening
PPA will host its first ever Twitter town hall this evening, from 6:30 to 7 PM EST. This is a great chance to ask poker related questions and get a response directly from PPA Executive Director John Pappas.
While John and I are known for being very accessible on poker forums and through social media, Twitter town halls are unique in that they offer a simple way for followers to have their questions answered directly in an informal social environment. This town hall will allow PPA another way to interact directly with the poker community, giving you a chance to get real insider information from John Pappas.
All you have to do is tweet your questions to @PPAPoker using the hashtag #AskPPA. It is that simple. We urge you to take advantage of this fun and unique opportunity.
Illinois Online Poker Hearing
Yesterday, PPA Executive Director John Pappas testified before the Illinois Senate at a hearing on online poker and other online betting. The consensus opinion on my Facebook page was that he did another outstanding job representing the poker community!
I encourage you to check out John’s written testimony here.
Webcast: Poker Advocacy with Rich Muny
Former Congresswoman Mary Bono (R-CA) joined me live on this week’s Poker Advocacy with Rich Muny webcast. We discussed poker advocacy and the new Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection. The interview was followed by a panel discussion featuring poker journalist Marco Valerio and Wendeen Eolis of Eolis International Group (who also writes a regular column for Poker Player Newspaper).
Congresswoman Bono spoke of how poker players and enthusiasts advocating for the game made a difference when she was in office. I encourage everyone to listen to this important podcast.
The program airs live Monday at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT on OnTilt Radio. Each show features great guests and the best discussion on poker legislation. Please be sure to tune in here each week for the live show!
Full Tilt Poker Remission Payments Starting Friday!
Great news. Full Tilt Poker Claims Administrator Garden City Group has confirmed their earlier statements that remission payments for those with timely, undisputed petitions will start Friday. They also provided new information as a result of many of us contacting them for verification of our banking information. And, they are now planning to send checks to those without verifiable bank accounts. Here’s the announcement:
NOTICE REGARDING APPROVED PETITIONS AND BANK ACCOUNT INFORMATION
As part of the normal bank account testing conducted prior to issuing ACH payments (as further described below), GCG has identified certain Petitioners who are approved for payment but who submitted account information that was either incomplete or incorrect. On February 21, 2014, GCG sent emails to all such Petitioners with instructions as to how to update their bank account information through the online filing site. Please note that if we do not receive updated, complete and accurate information by March 13, 2014, a check will be sent to the mailing address provided with the Petition. Petitioners contacted by GCG in connection with their bank account information will receive payment in the second round of payments. If any such Petitioners have questions about this process, please contact GCG.
All other Petitioners who have been approved for payment in the first round of distributions and whose bank account information has passed the preliminary testing process will be sent an email notice on Monday, February 24 or Tuesday, February 25 with the amount of their payment. The first round of payments is scheduled to be issued on Friday, February 28.
Colorado Charity Poker Tournament
The Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center is hosting a Texas Hold’Em tournament that you won’t want to miss. The tournament is sponsored in part by OnTilt Radio, producer and webcaster of my weekly program. Our own PPA Colorado State Director Robin Jones is CEO of OnTilt.
Proceeds will benefit the Chamber and The Homeless Foundation. Registration begins at 4:30 and play begins at 5:30. Go to www.trilakeschamber.com to register. They have lots of great prizes and auction items. You do not want to miss this event!
Announcing Two New State Directors
PPA is proud to announce Mike Qualley as our new Minnesota State Director. Mike is a longtime poker advocate and has been fighting for our rights to play online pretty much from the beginning. Mike started playing online poker in 2003, around the same time Chris Moneymaker was taking the poker world by storm. Mike resides in Richfield, Minnesota where he enjoys playing 7 Card Stud, HORSE and Omaha Hi-Lo mixed limit/pot. You can follow Mike on twitter @mqusicMQ.
We’d like to give a big welcome to Akintunde “Akin” Akinola from Glenn Dale, Maryland. Akin recently testified in support of two really important home poker bills at the State Capitol and is an avid poker blogger with maythebesthandwin.com; centered on the foundations necessary to become a professional poker player whether locally (MD) or abroad. He started to play poker right after college and has never regretted learning to play. You can follow Akin on twitter @mtbhwin.
Let’s give both Mike and Akin a big PPA welcome!
US. v. DiCristina Update
In poker legal news the PPA regrettably has to report that on Monday the US Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal in US. v. DiCristina. This was the ground breaking case where a Federal judge, after hearing hours of competing evidence, ruled that poker was unquestionably a game of skill. That judge also ruled that the skill factor exempted poker from the reach of the federal “illegal Gambling Business Act” (IGBA, the primary law used to prosecute the Black Friday defendants). Unfortunately the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed with the judge’s interpretation of IGBA, saying skill did not matter. Numerous poker enthusiasts and many other game players urged the Supreme Court to take the case and make clear that federal gambling laws should not apply to games of skill, but the Court declined to even hear the case. On the bright side the ruling that poker was a game of skill was never seriously questioned, and so the fight to get better treatment under federal law for poker and other games of skill will have to continue elsewhere.
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