PPA Applauds Introduction of Senate Bill to License and Regulate Internet Poker

Menendez Bill Adds Clarity, Consumer Protection

Washington, DC (August 6, 2009) –The Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the leading poker grassroots advocacy group with more than one million members nationwide, today commended Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) for introducing the Internet Poker and Games of Skill Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act. The legislation establishes the needed licensing and regulatory framework for the United States to protect consumers by exercising appropriate control and oversight over Internet poker and other games of skill.

“Through our efforts on Capitol Hill during National Poker Week, the tides are turning and support for licensing and regulating Internet poker versus infringing on Internet freedom is growing,” said PPA Chairman and former Senator Alfonse D’Amato. “The PPA is pleased that Senator Menendez chose to introduce his bill to license and regulate Internet poker and include additional consumer protections. His continued support for protecting the Internet freedoms of poker players specifically, and Americans generally, is greatly appreciated.”

Momentum has also been building for Federal legislation to license and regulate Internet poker. During National Poker Week, PPA members from across the country converged in Washington, D.C., to meet with more than 100 members of the U.S. House and Senate to promote legislation to license and regulate Internet poker. At the same time, more than 210,000 letters were sent to Capitol Hill encouraging lawmakers support for the rights of poker players.

Legislation introduced in the House of Representatives by Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA), H.R. 2267, now has over 50 cosponsors, and with this new Senate bill the PPA will continue its advocacy work during the August recess so that key Senators know their constituents want them to cosponsor this bill.

Key provisions of the bill include:

  • Creation of a registry of unlicensed online gambling operators that will strengthen enforcement efforts of truly unlawful gambling;
  • Mandatory implementation of technologies to protect against underage gambling and to monitor and detect individuals with excessive gaming habits;
  • Dedicated funding to develop and implement prevention and treatment programs for problem gamblers;
  • Mechanisms to collect the billions of dollars in tax revenue that is currently being lost; and
  • Clarification of the Wire Act to create consistency in how online gambling activities, such as horse race betting, are treated under Federal law.

“Today’s action by Senator Menendez is yet another powerful step towards protecting Internet freedom, protecting consumers and protecting online poker. On behalf of the members of the PPA and online poker players nationwide, I thank Senator Menendez for his leadership on this important issue,” said D’Amato.

The full text of the bill can be found at www.theppa.org.