The Poker Players Alliance credits player activism as the catalyst for recent gains for online poker in the United States in its latest newsletter.
Rich Muny, vice president of player relations for the PPA, a lobbying group in the U.S. representing poker players and online poker interests, wrote about the topic in the PPA’s latest newsletter. Online poker laws that regulate the industry have passed in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware in the past year, and several other states are considering regulation as well. Before last year, there had been little traction for online poker regulation, with New Jersey and California among the states that previously had failed bids to pass online gaming laws.
Muny thanked those poker players who have made their opinions known to legislators and other state and federal officials as online poker attempts to gain a foothold as a regulated industry in the U.S. Here is some of what Muny wrote:
We worked with pro-poker lawmakers to introduce legislation. While the early bills were huge underdogs, they helped us to lay the foundation for our fight by giving us a platform upon which we could make our case and demonstrate support for our game on Capitol Hill, in statehouses across the country, and in the mainstream media.
Being organized allowed us to have strong lobbyists fighting for us on the Hill. Our letters, phone calls, and social media grassroots activism gave them the ammo they needed for their fight, while the lobbying effort gave us our voice on Capitol Hill. The synergy did not end there. As we increased the likelihood of online poker becoming authorized in the U.S., supporting us became +EV for other interests, including U.S.-based potential providers, state lotteries, some tribal interests, and others. Thus, rather than opposing us, our efforts helped bring many stakeholders over to the side of the poker community.
You can read the entire newsletter here.
While poker advocacy is certainly part of why states have begun passing online gaming laws, regulation has come about as a way for states to generate revenue. While no regulated online poker rooms or other online gaming has come online in the states mentioned above, those states and others hope regulated gaming can create new revenue streams for their jurisdictions.