The Poker Players Alliance (PPA), a grassroots organization dedicated to promoting and protecting the game, announced today that membership of the organization has more than doubled since the U.S. House of Representatives voted to ban online poker. Today, the PPA boasts more than 75,000 members coming from every corner of the country.
PPA President Michael Bolcerek attributes this tremendous growth to the recent attempts by Congress to prohibit Internet gambling in the United States. “This large jump in membership shows that American poker players are coming to the defense of a game they love. With the rising threat to the online game, poker players are starting to become politically savvy,” said Bolcerek. “More than 70 million people in the United States enjoy poker. In a day and age where computers dominate our daily lives, we must embrace rather than criminalize advancements in technology that allow us the opportunity to play this long-established pastime on the Internet. The right approach is regulation of online poker, not prohibition of America’s card game.”
Earlier this month, the U. S. House of Representative approved legislation that would block payments from both banks and credit card companies to online gambling sites. The bill, known as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (H.R. 4111), has the potential to deny access to gaming sites altogether and force Web site operators to become watchdogs for the federal government. While outlawing Internet poker, the bill exempts other forms of online gambling such as horse racing and Internet lotteries.
Legislation similar to H.R. 4111 is now being pushed in the U.S. Senate.
“These membership numbers send a message to Congress that poker has a strong following in this country. As the organization continues to grow in members and influence, we fully intend to make these tens of thousands of new voices heard in the halls of Congress,” said Bolcerek.
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