Thursday, March 20, 2008

Please Support the Poker Players Alliance

Stripped of ethical rationalizations and philosophical pretensions, a crime is anything that a group in power chooses to prohibit. – Freda Adler.

My Fellow Americans:

I am proud to be a card-carrying member of the Poker Players Alliance. I despise the UIGEA, its backers, and what it stands for. It is an unnecessary bureaucratic attempt to limit my liberty and pursuit of happiness. If you are an internet poker player and you have not already joined our effort in this battle, what are you waiting for? Consider the following questions:

Do you agree with the UIGEA?
Do you want it modified or stricken?
Do you believe laws get changed on their own or by themselves?

If you answered “no” to any of them, please join me in letting our elected representatives in Washington know what we want as constituents.
Membership is inexpensive and your money will go toward defending our liberty regarding playing poker on the internet.

Here is a letter I sent to my Congressional Representative recently via the PPA:

Thank you for using Poker Players Alliance Mail System

Representative Ron Paul

February 21, 2008

Dear Congressman,

I am writing as a constituent, a voter, and an avid poker player to thank you for submitting to the Federal Reserve your comment concerning the proposed Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) regulations.
I too believe the regulations as proposed are flawed in many areas, so I'm very pleased that you informed the Federal Reserve of your concerns.

I am very concerned about banks "overblocking" lawful Internet gaming, especially Internet poker. I do not believe Internet poker is unlawful nationwide. Federal case law has consistently held that the Wire Act applies only to interstate sports betting, very few states have any laws prohibiting Internet poker, and UIGEA did not change the legal status of online poker. All UIGEA did was restrict financial transactions for Internet gaming unlawful under other federal and state gaming laws.

The Department of Justice says it disagrees with the appellate court rulings on the scope of the Wire Act. However, as they have chosen to not test this assumption in any court against any Internet poker operator, their confidence in their opinion appears to be questionable.

Suffice it to say, interpreting the many relevant Internet gaming laws is difficult. In fact, as you noted in your submitted comment, the regulation authors themselves were unable to do so. Unfortunately, rather than simply requiring banks to enforce gaming that is clearly illegal, like interstate sports betting, the regulation authors decided to burden every bank, credit union, and other financial institution in the nation with this task. I believe this would force banks to overblock many legal transactions. As you noted in your comment, this certainly was not the intent of Congress.

I urge you to continue to demand that the regulation authors "undertake additional efforts to determine, on a state-by-state basis, precisely what transactions payment systems are required to block". Our financial institutions must know exactly what they are required to prevent.

I also ask you to support clarifying legislation currently in the House.
If you've not yet, please consider cosponsoring HR 2610, the Skill Game Protection Act and HR 2046, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act. HR 2610 clarifies federal law by expressly exempting games of skill like poker from UIGEA and from the Wire Act. HR 2046, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act, regulates online poker via stringent licensing regulations for poker site operators. Both bills have rigorous safeguards against underage and compulsive gambling.

Thank you again for your support.




HighOnPoker said...

Hey Lucypher. I must admit, I am not a member of the PPA, and I don't plan on becoming a member. The reason that I am not a member is probably also the reason why there are no strong poker-player lobbies, but basically, I don't trust the PPA. I haven't seen them do anything other than collect money and rattle swords. It seems to me that they are run by a couple of online poker sites. The UIGEA sucks, but it hasn't actually changed anything. It's just another un-enforceable law.

So, I don't knock you for being a member, but I just don't see the real reason for it. I'm open to further discussion, though.

Lucypher said...

I will readily acknowledge their apparent lack of effectiveness, but I still think we need some voice/lobby at the Congressional level.

Poker Player said...

PPA is just one of the avenues for american citizens to get their legal poker back. If you were following the news, the protests and media pressure helped defeat the Massachusetts anti- online gaming measures.

Internet Poker said...

I would like to back up Lucypher and add that I also support the PPA. The recent ruling in Washington State on Thursday that upheld a previous law against internet poker being illegal, was a big blow to the internet poker players in Washington State. I hope that the PPA will continue to fight for player's rights.