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Presidential petition for the legalisation of online poker
Thursday, September 29, 2011 : Minimum threshold of 5 000 signatures achieved...but PPA wants more
Last week's concern that a presidential petition for the legalisation of online poker in the USA would not reach minimum threshold numbers has faded as fans of the game around the United States add their support to the initiative.
The petition is in response to a White House initiative in which Americans have been invited to submit their concerns in petition form, with 5 000 being the minimum number of signatures necessary to get attention.
Proponents of online gambling have been quick to seize the opportunity to again put legalisation on the table, although the initial response from players was slow. That appears to have changed in a matter of days as punters become more aware of the opportunity through action groups like the Poker Players Alliance.
Drew Lesofski, director of grassroots and external affairs for the Alliance, says the petition has reached to 6 500 mark well before the 30 days allowed.
"What we really want is to show the [Obama] administration that a lot of people care about this liberty," said Rich Muny, PPA vice president of player relations, who is urging PPA members to sign the petition.
"We want it to always be in their heads that poker is in the top-tier of Americans' interests. To me, that is more important than what response we get from the administration."
This week Muny continued to urge poker players to sign up through the PPA website in order to make a major impact.
So far 86 petitions on widely differing concerns have been triggered by the White House initiative, and that on legalised online poker is around 21st when the number of signatories is compared.
Thus far the legalisation of marijuana is the most popular petition at over 40 000 signatures, and given the estimates of 10 million poker players in the United States, the poker legalisation issue should be capable of topping that.
"It's very important for everyone in the community to participate," Muny said this week. "We want to stay above any bar they choose. It's very gratifying that the White House thought a good proposal would take 30 days to get 5,000 votes and we did it in three days. That shows the strength of our community. More votes will increase our priority in getting an answer. Every additional signature is an important one."
The White House initiative runs through to October 22.
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