PPA will try to influence lawmakers rather than appeal court cases
John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, has advised that the action group for the legalization of online poker is to change its strategy in Washington state, lobbying lawmakers to change the state’s draconian anti-online gambling laws rather than fight cases through the courts.
The PPA decision is no doubt motivated by the recent finding by the state Supreme Court that the legislature is acting within its powers, and that the state ban does not contravene commerce clauses in the US Constitution. The ruling resulted in Pokerstars withdrawing its internet poker offering from the state.
Pappas opined this week: "It would be a big challenge just to get the U.S. Supreme Court to hear [the case] again, and then if they did hear it I don't know if there's enough on record for a decision [that] the PPA and its members would like.”
Pappas hopes that state lawmakers can be persuaded that the ban is unpopular with voters and should be repealed. The PPA is appealing to interested parties with good political connections in Washington state to become involved in a renewed drive for the repeal of the law, which makes online gambling a felony with severe punitive measures.
In related news, Poker News Daily reports that a Washington state resident started his own initiative against the ban. Erik Ladenburg recently launched a Facebook group titled Citizens for the Right to Play Poker in Washington. The group has already attracted almost 800 members, an indication of the popularity of the game.
Pappas says that the plan now is to initiate a bill calling for the repeal of the Washington ban.
"It's an unpopular law that's not being enforced, so why is it even on the books?" Pappas asks. "I think there are good arguments, easy arguments, to get it repealed. We just need to find the right champion."