poker player alliance

PPA Updates Action Page, Asks For Renewed Player Input

Fresh on the heels of its executive director making appearances in two US states considering the possible regulation of online poker and other forms of online gambling, the Washington, D.C.-based Poker Players Alliance has called for renewed input from American poker players seeking to offer input on the lobbying group’s organizational goals.

PPA LogoThe call comes in the form of a player-directed survey found amid new content in the PPA’s online “take action” area. Poker players — both online and live players are urged to participate — can offer feedback in several important areas.

The 17-question survey offers plenty of room for individualized feedbac for those who choose to take part. Questions run the gamut from the current state of poker in the US to why online poker in the States has been so slow to be approved, and whether the PPA should expand its mission to include other forms of gambling.

As an example, the PPA serves up this selection of possible player responses regarding the current state of American poker:

* 1. How do you feel about the current state of poker in the United States? (check all that apply)

  • Poker is as popular as it has ever been and continues to grow.
  • Poker has reached its peak and is now on a plateau, and will soon decline.
  • Poker’s popularity has been on a decline in the U.S. since Black Friday shut down the leading online poker sites.
  • Other

2. If you checked “Other” in the above question, please use the box below to add your input. ________________

Regarding the currently stagnated expansion of online poker in the US, the PPA really wants to know what the players believe. Check out this question pair:

5. Why do you believe more states have not licensed and regulated online poker?

  • Elected officials have misconceptions about online poker
  • Elected officials don’t feel the issue is important
  • There is not enough money generated through online poker
  • Poker players do not care enough about the issue
  • Poker players are not organized enough
  • Not enough money is going towards lobbying
  • Gambling industry is not working together and funding the fight
  • Arguments/approach for legalizing online poker are wrong
  • Other

6. If you checked “Other” in the above question, please use the box below to add your input. __________________________

Yes, multiple answers can be check-boxed, as is likely in #5 above. And as deep as that answer selection is, with nine possibilities listed, it omits a couple of prominent issues that have clearly hindered online-poker expansion in the US. For one. there’s the prolific anti-online spending of Sheldon Adelson and his Las Vegas Sands Corp., which have likely slowed the process in Pennsylvania. For another, there’s the battle over tribal nations’ exclusivity demands, which have hampered several states’ efforts, most particularly in California.

How the PPA conducts its business and where it gets its funding is a part of this fact-finding survey as well. The PPA has been funded almost exclusively by prominent online operators since its inception over a decade ago. Bluntly put, online players haven’t contributed much at all financially to the fight. That has made the PPA something of a misnomer, oftentimes appearing to represent operators’ present and future interests over those of the “Players” in the organization’s title, even though the lobbying group has always been predominantly pro-online poker in general terms.

The question about whether the PPA should expand its mission is also intriguing. “Should PPA expand their mission to include supporting online gambling / daily fantasy sports / sports betting legislation?” it asks. From an organizational standpoint, the question may be more important than poker players realize. The ongoing legislative stalemates in several states remain a drain on ever-dwindling resources, and a PPA that sought to lobby for many online-gambling forms, rather than just poker, might find it easier to raise lobbying funds for those efforts.

If you’ve got the ten minutes, it’s probably worth the visit to offer your views. Good or bad, there’s little else but the PPA to carry the flag for US poker players’ interests. Taking part is important.

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