Poker group’s lobbying raises online law

The Poker Players Alliance spent USD 900,000 in 2007 to lobby the federal government on online gambling legislation. The law made it illegal for domestic banks and credit-card companies to process payments to online gambling businesses.

The group, which says it represents 800,000 poker enthusiasts nationwide, lobbied on a bill that would exempt poker from a law that restricts online gambling, and for legislation that would regulate the Internet gaming industry, according to a disclosure form posted online February 15 by the Senate’s public records office. The alliance spent USD 780,000 lobbying on those issues in the second half of 2007.

It’s legal to play poker online, but the law made it illegal for domestic banks and credit-card companies to process payments to online gambling businesses. The act, passed in 2006, bars financial institutions from handling gambling transactions, with exceptions for lotteries, horse racing and fantasy sports.

The Poker Players Alliance is chaired by former New York Sen. Alfonse D’Amato. Lobbyists are required to disclose activities that could influence members of the executive and legislative branches, under a federal law enacted in 1995.

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