April 21, 2009 (PAP Newswire) — As the iGaming industry gets set for Barney Frank’s much-anticipated online gambling regulation bill to be introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives in the coming weeks, some advocacy groups are getting ready to support the new bill with congressional lobbying.
The Poker Players Alliance (PPA),
the non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting the
game of poker and its players in all forms, has committed $3 million to
help lobby Congress upon the introduction of Frank’s new bill, writes Jennifer Newell in Bluff Magazine.
This monetary commitment was made to help the legislation overcome the
difficult obstacles of hundreds of lawmakers who remain skittish about
the idea of legalizing online gaming.
“Liberals and conservatives in and out of Congress are opposed to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act for a number of reasons,” the article quoted PPA Chairman Al D’Amato.
“It does nothing to prevent children and problem gamblers from playing
online; it overly burdens the banks, making them, not the federal
government, policemen of the Internet; it costs the taxpayers billions
in unearned revenue, not to mention the loss of capital and jobs when
these companies are forced to move out of the U.S.; and it’s simply
“As House Financial Services Committee
Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and many Democratic and Republican
members know, now is the time to do what’s right for all interested
parties, not based on party politics. That means protecting Internet
freedom and the public interest through taxation, licensing and
regulation — not prohibition.”
Some voices have criticized
the fact that PPA’s $3 million is a relatively small amount, correctly
pointing out that, given online poker’s huge profit margins, more could
be spent, and that more will be needed to make much of an impact on the
U.S. Congress with its notoriously high lobbying spends. However, it’s
still important to note that advocacy groups are making the effort to
back up the movement to reverse the UIGEA in the U.S. congress, a cause
many politicians are too fearful to support. Given iMEGA’s recent
efforts to help nullify the state of Kentucky’s efforts to seize 141
online poker-related domain names, the willingness of the groups to act
should hold more weight than the actual amount they’re able to commit
to spending at this early stage.