PPA To Spend $3 Million on Anti-UIGEA Lobbying
April 21, 2009 (CAP 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 unenforceable …
"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.