Commerce Casino's opposition to the legalization of online poker attracts the Alliance's ire
The one million member online poker action group Poker Players Alliance came out with all guns firing this week in a press release criticising the Commerce Casino for its opposition to the federal legalization of online gambling.
InfoPowa readers will recall that the Commerce Casino was recently involved with the Morongo Band of Mission Indians in attempting to obtain an exclusive intrastate Californian license to offer online poker, and has opposed federal attempts to legalise the game throughout the United States for states that wish to do so.
The PPA statement accuses Commerce Casino of turning its back on poker enthusiasts nationwide by putting profits ahead of player interest and "…aligning with those determined to ban online poker."
The Alliance goes on to launch a campaign designed to change the card room's position on federal licensing as proposed in Congressman Barney Frank's HR2267, currently through the House Financial Services Committee but not yet on the House floor for debate and voting.
The PPA's open letter to Commerce Casino has apparently received wide support, with the Alliance claiming that it carries the signatures of some 120 high profile and respected poker advocates, including PPA state directors and stars of today's professional poker circuit like Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, Barry Greenstein and Phil Hellmuth.
"Members of the PPA, and poker players nationwide, are outraged that the Commerce Casino, the largest poker room in the nation, opposes Federal legalization that would protect players' rights and access to online poker," says PPA executive director John Pappas. "They are angry and want to make their voices heard. The PPA's ‘Players Before Profits' campaign gives poker players a vehicle to express their disappointment with Commerce Casino."
The Commerce Casino's opposition to federal licensing and regulation is a direct result of its desire to promote California-only licensing and regulation that would create a monopoly market where they are the main provider of online gaming services in the state, the PPA statement explains.
At the same time, intra-state licensing legalization means players in California can only play on California sites, with other players in California – severely restricting the both the pool of available players and types of games available to California poker players.
The "Players Before Profits" initiative urges PPA members and all poker players to call, email or tweet the Commerce Casino to express their disappointment and encourage the organisation to support H.R. 2267. Additionally, players can add their name to the open letter to Commerce Casino's owners outlining the concerns of the players.
"The poker community has been fighting tooth and nail for years for a safe, regulated online poker industry in the United States, and it is disheartening to see one of our own turn its back on this effort – and the safety of players – in order to maximize their own profits," said Pappas. "I urge all poker players to contact Commerce Casino and express your disappointment."