Friday September 14, 2012 : PPA CLAIMS POLITICAL OPINION MORE POSITIVE ON INTERNET POKER
But players need to maintain pressure on their political representatives, says Pappas
The Poker Players Alliance, which claims a membership across the United States of over 1.2 million poker fans, claims that an increasing number of Congressmen and women are leaning toward the legalization of online poker, but says that his members need to continue urging their political representatives to support the concept.
Pappas cites the Alliance's Congressional Ratings Guide to support his assertion. This rates each member of Congress on his or her support for the game of poker, based on votes and co-sponsorship of legalization, outreach to colleagues, letters to constituents, public statements, feedback from PPA's advocacy team and feedback from meetings with PPA members.
Serving as a resource for poker advocates, the Ratings Guide provides a simple way to determine which members of Congress support online poker rights, and is available at www.theppa.org/congress.
“In the past four years, the PPA has more than doubled the number of members of Congress who have a rating, even with a turnover of almost 100 Freshman Senators and Representatives at the start of the 112th Congress,” said John Pappas, executive director of the PPA.
“Just six years ago, two-thirds of the U.S. House publicly and proudly voted to prohibit online poker. Today, the vocal opponents of online poker in the Congress are approaching extinction. In fact, even some who voted in favor of the 2006 prohibition are the most ardent supporters of a regulated marketplace that gives adult Americans the freedom to play poker online."
The Ratings Guide release coincided with the unveiling of the results of the 2012 U.S. Online Poker Survey.
The survey of PPA members nationwide, conducted by U.S. Gaming Survey and commissioned by the PPA, found that in every swing state and “election fringe state,” respondents overwhelmingly stated they would be willing to vote against their registered party if the other candidate supported online poker and their party's candidate did not.
In Ohio and North Carolina, two battleground states in the upcoming presidential election, 60 percent of respondents said they would change their vote. That number rose to 66 percent in Florida, the swing state that was pivotal in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections.
Fully three-quarters (75 percent) of all respondents indicated that their votes for the House and the Senate would be influenced by support for licensed online poker. The survey also demonstrated that the poker-playing community is essentially bipartisan, with a nearly even split between Republican and Democratic respondents.
A summary of the U.S. Gaming Association survey can be found at http://www.usgamingsurvey.com/online-poker-political-alliance.html.