Wednesday May 4,2016 : POKER PLAYERS ALLIANCE RESPONDS TO LEGALISATION CRITICS IN CALIFORNIA
Executive director John Pappas takes newspaper editorial board to task.
Earlier this week the Californian newspaper Sacramento Bee published an editorial critical of AB2863, a bill currently at committee stage in the California state legislature which seeks to licence and regulate online poker.
Within days that criticism has sparked a response from the Poker Players Alliance.
Writing in a special op-ed article in the newspaper, PPA executive director John Pappas expressed astonishment that the newspaper's editorial board appears to oppose a measure which will safeguard consumers and ensure that online poker is strictly regulated in California, with licensing fee and tax rewards for the state coffers.
Pappas pointed out that unlicensed offshore operators have been accessing Californian poker fans for years whilst the legalization debate raged in the state, and that the delay in recognising the realities of the situation has cost the state of California hundreds of millions in lost tax opportunities.
Pappas used the Lock Poker debacle as an example of what happens to consumers when an unregulated and unlicensed operator implodes after operating with no real regulatory safeguards and controls, leaving players without recourse to remedies.
AB2863 presents an opportunity for Californian lawmakers to ensure the safety of consumers, raise tax revenues and ensure that operators are properly vetted and controlled in an environment where regulated, safe online poker can thrive, he observed.
Pappas also took a tilt at the Sacramento Bee's editorial board, suggesting that their opposition to AB2863 demonstrated a lack of understanding and dangerously ignores the need for consumer protection.
He described as particularly mind-numbing the board's support for the regulation of daily fantasy sports – a form of online betting – whilst vociferously opposing online poker.
"That makes no sense whatsoever, and it's particularly troubling since the standards and consumer safeguards proposed in AB2863 are far more robust than those envisaged for daily fantasy sports," he concluded.