With approval of online poker at the federal level unlikely this year, the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) continues to push for state-by-state regulation.
Although not entirely giving up lobbying in support of a federal bill such as H.R. 2666 previously introduced by Rep. Joe Barton, PPA executive director John Pappas recently confirmed that the focus remains on backing online poker legislation on the state level. Barton’s Internet Poker Freedom Act of 2013 was the subject of a [geolink href=”https://www.usafriendlypokersites.com/witnesses-named-online-gambling-hearing/”]House subcommittee hearing in December[/geolink], but failed to gain any traction.
The hearing that debated “The State of Online Gaming” in the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade four months ago now seems like a distant memory considering that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) have introduced bills aiming to ban online poker and gambling. The result is that the PPA is now on the defensive in educating lawmakers about the negative aspects of the proposed anti-online gambling legislation.
While a good defense has been cited as perhaps being the best offense, that is not necessarily true when it comes to getting bills approved. Much of the time that PPA representatives could be using to push for Internet poker regulations statewide is instead going toward speaking out against the Graham/Chaffetz anti-Internet gambling bill known as the Restoration of America’s Wire Act.
Pappas indicated that there are no hearings scheduled on the measure seeking to ban online poker and gambling, but is wary that the proposal may one day garner more attention considering that
there are major forces driving it. Those forces are spearheaded by Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson and his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.
That coalition continues to be met head on by the PPA, as well as the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection. While Adelson is one of the wealthiest individuals in the world and has plenty of ammunition at his disposal, the forces that support Internet poker and gambling may be on the defensive but show no signs of backing down.
Meanwhile, armed with the DoJ’s 2011 ruling that allows states to offer their residents online gambling, the PPA continues to fight for the rights of states to do so. As most are aware, only Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have elected to enter the regulated online gambling space. But many other states have taken the matter under consideration and it is highly likely that some of those states will eventually enact legislation of their own.