Weekly Update: The Fight for Poker Rights in 2013 (01/09/2013)

January 8th, 2013

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Weekly Update from Rich Muny, VP of Player Relations

I am proud of the efforts so many in the poker community made to advocate for poker legislation in 2012. We made great strides and are well-positioned to win over more states in 2013! As this happens, I expect even more to join, like falling dominoes. Let’s all be sure to commit ourselves to making this happen!

The State of Poker in 2013, by PPA Executive Director John Pappas

Happy New Year poker players and enthusiasts! As 2013 starts, I want to quickly look back on some of the momentum that was built this past year. 2012 brought more allies to the fight for a regulated Internet poker marketplace. Even a longtime opponent of Internet gaming like Senator Jon Kyl worked earnestly and in good faith to draft federal law that would have licensed online poker in the U.S. Just as significant, numerous Indian Tribes changed their positions and came out in support of regulated online poker. Even state lotteries, while they did not support this federal bill, made it very clear that they wish to bring Internet games — including poker — to the states.

A few states moved forward with Internet poker in 2012. Nevada became the first state to license Internet poker operators, with real money play starting later this year! Delaware passed a law that allows them to offer online poker and online casino style games to their residents, and New Jersey sent an online poker and online casino gaming bill to the governor’s desk that awaits his signature. PPA supported and advocated for all three of these historic bills.

On the legal front, the poker community scored a major victory when a federal court ruled, unambiguously, that poker is a game of skill. As you know, PPA played a major role in this case and helped develop and present the facts that ultimately led to the judge’s historic opinion.

2012 brought out more poker activists than we’ve ever had. PPA has never been stronger as a grassroots advocacy organization. Tens of thousands of poker players and enthusiasts used email, phone calls, Twitter, and Facebook to contact their elected officials. PPA State Directors from across the country took the initiative to organize local poker players and enthusiasts for the cause. The PPA Leadership Team also crossed the map to meet directly with members through our “Poker Town Halls” held in Florida, Nevada, greater Ohio, and Massachusetts.

There is much to looks back on with pride and strong reason to look forward to our future. With the latest federal effort behind us, it has become clear that last year’s dysfunctional Congress was a huge obstacle in our mission to secure safe and regulated Internet poker. Sadly, the prospects of the partisan Congress working together in 2013 does not look promising.

More and more, the fight for Internet poker is moving to the states. In the wake of the Justice Department decision that the Wire Act does not apply to online poker, states are sending strong signals that they intend to push for Internet poker legislation, including California, Massachusetts, Iowa, New York, and Illinois. It is likely that, as state legislatures reconvene in the coming weeks, several more will follow! Thusly, we will be largely focusing our efforts on passing player-friendly bills in the states where legislative action is brewing.

To be clear, PPA is not abandoning Washington D.C. We are headquartered in the nation’s capital and I will be advocating for players in the halls of Congress. We will also stay alert so that our opponents in Washington D.C. do not attempt to restrict our rights even further by passing draconian laws that criminalize players or prevent the states from regulating online poker. With an anti-gaming Congressman like Rep. Bob Goodlatte as the newly-elected Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, we rightfully need to remain on guard.

As PPA increases its focus on the states, the advocacy efforts of the poker community will continue to be the most important asset in the fight for our collective poker rights. Over the coming weeks and months, PPA will be working with our members even more directly. We will hold more Town Halls in 2013. We are also developing innovative ways to facilitate communication with the poker community. And, look for our highly successful “Washington D.C. Fly-Ins” to be replicated in key states.

When I became the Executive Director of the PPA in Fall 2007, the organization was just starting to get its voice. Five years later, the poker community is at full throat. We have become one of the strongest single-issue advocacy organizations on Capitol Hill. We will amplify that activism across the country in 2013.

This is an exciting time. It is still a challenging environment for poker players, and the road ahead will not be easy, but nothing worth winning ever is. PPA will never fold in this fight!

I thank you, your family, and your friends for your continued support in the fight for our rights.

Continue your support for poker by becoming a 2013 PPA member, click here or the button below.

The PPA Greg Raymer Series Hosted by HogWild Poker is kicking off for PPA Members! Join the PPA today for a free shot to play your way to Greg Raymer’s table!

We’ve worked with our friends at HogWild Poker to create a new, exciting four-week series that could land you in an exclusive $1,000 freeroll featuring former WSOP champ and PPA ambassador Greg Raymer. For more information on the series, and how to play, click here.

Take Action

Let’s encourage New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to sign his state’s online poker bill! Simply send the prefilled, editable poker tweet HERE and comment on his Facebook wall HERE. If you prefer not to use Twitter for Facebook but wish to take action today, please take a moment to call your governor and ask him/her to back poker! Click HERE for contact information (if you live in Washington state or Indiana, you may wish to wait until Monday for your governor-elect to take office).

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Upcoming Appearances:
  • Webcast: “PPA Weekly Update” airs live each Sunday at 6:45 pm ET/3:45 pm PT on Fifth Street Radio. Listen live here.
  • The Poker Advocacy with Rich Muny webcast on OnTilt Radio airs live each Monday at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT. Listen live here. You can follow the program on Facebook at facebook.com/PokerAdvocacy, and on Twitter at @PokerAdvocacy. The show site is ontiltradio.com/ppa. The program has been nominated for a number of OnTilt Radio awards. You can vote for your favorites at ontiltradio.com/thetiltys
Recent appearance:
  • OnTilt Radio (1/7): “Poker Advocacy with Rich Muny.” I was joined by Marco Valerio, formerly of QuadJacks, for a terrific discussion (listen here or on iTunes here).
Interview Archives:
Thank you for your continued support!

Proud to play,

Rich Muny

2012 Legislative Year in Review – Poker News (01/02/2013)

Texas to Look at New Poker Bill; Would Make Online Poker Illegal – Poker News Daily (01/03/2013)

Poker buddies say ‘name of the game is fun’ – Ellwood City Ledger (01/04/2013)

NJ Waiting On Governor Decision On I-Gaming Bill – CardPlayer (01/04/2013)

Proposed gaming bill would allow interstate agreements for online poker – Las Vegas Review-Journal (01/07/2013)

Panelists warn lawmakers about the challenges of online gambling – Las Vegas Sun (01/07/2013)

Iowa Lottery Against Federal Online Poker Plan – CardPlayer (01/03/2013)

Fahrenkopf to Step Down from American Gaming Association Post – Pokerfuse (01/07/2013)

Exclusive: Interview With Sen. Roderick Wright, CA Online Poker Bill Sponsor – Online Poker Report (01/07/2013)

Liquidity FTW: Nevada Exploring Interstate Online Poker – PocketFives (01/08/2013)

Liquidity FTW: Nevada Exploring Interstate Online Poker - PocketFives (01/08/2013)

The Poker Players Alliance
Dedicated to Protecting America’s Favorite Card Game

The Poker Players Alliance is a nonprofit membership organization comprised of poker players and enthusiasts from around the United States who have joined together to speak with one voice to promote the game and to protect poker players’ rights. Visit us at theppa.org 

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