Saturday December 7,2013 : WITNESSES NAMED FOR U.S. ONLINE GAMBLING HEARING (Update)
Opposing views will be presented to congressional committee.
Next Tuesday's House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee of Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade hearing on internet gambling should be anything but a bland affair as opposing views are heard from witnesses with widely disparate views.
The "The State of Online Gaming" hearing will be addressed by the following witnesses:
* Las Vegas Sands senior vice president Andy Abboud, who will present land gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson's vehemently anti-online gambling arguments.
* Pro-federal legalization of online poker only John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance advocacy group.
* Equally pro-federal online poker only supporter and American Gaming Association chief exec Geoff Freeman.
* Stop Predatory Gambling national director Les Bernal, whose organisation title probably says it all.
* Chapman University law professor Kurt Eggert, a legal expert on the subject.
* University of Massachusetts professor Rachel A. Volberg, who is not known for her positive views on internet gambling.
* Texas Republican Representative Joe Barton, a member of the committee who has additionally introduced to Congress a bill seeking to legalise online poker only at federal level, which is specifically mentioned on the agenda for the hearing.
Pappas says he will represent the views of online poker players. "I think I can respond from many different angles and feel I have the experience and knowledge to respond to our strongest critics," he said Friday.
"Hopefully I'll be able to do so in a way that resonates with members of the committee. We want to have substance submitted at this hearing, not necessarily sizzle."
Pappas expects the hearing to consider the success of online gambling legalization developments in Europe as well as in individual US states, along with opposing views seeking a federal ban on the genre.
Urging PPA members and players in general to voice their support for legalization by again contacting their Congressmen and women, Pappas stressed how important it was that undecided politicians be aware of their constituents' opinions on the issue.
"One thing we can do that no other group testifying can is deliver actual voters in their districts telling members to support this," the PPA exec said. "Players will be critical in helping members of Congress decide where they stand, and we need to show any members of Congress who may have or expect to receive political support from Adelson that voters back in the district disagree with his [negative] position."