Lobbying For Internet Gambling In Washington D.C.

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casino-world.jpgThe Poker Players Alliance, as known as PPA, is making new attempts to fight the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, also known as UIGEA. They started last night and it will continue for the next two days. The PPA will be hosting a string of policy conferences and engage in citizen lobbying sessions with Members of Congress in Washington D.C. Many of the world’s most respected poker players are planning to be there. Some of those poker players are Barry Greenstein, Andy Bloch, Howard Lederer, Chad Brown, Vanessa Rousso, and Victor Ramdin.

Many events are planned and some of them are:
-“How to Lobby Congress” Breakfast
-Member of Congress/Staff Meeting
-Capitol Hill Reception
-Policy Forum

There are also some invited guest speakers planned. They are: Charles Neeson, Professor, Harvard Law; Sallie James, Policy Analyst Cato Institute; Keith Whyte, Executive Director, National Council on Problem Gambling; and other guests who are experts in the field of public policy and law.

The D.C. conference is coming at the perfect time because the Department of the Treasury and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve have proposed new regulations that would force banks, credit card companies and any other payment system to not allow transactions to go through for unlawful internet gambling. What they mean by unlawful internet gambling is not allowing the transfer of funds from a financial institution to an internet gambling site. There are a few exceptions, those being: “fantasy” sports, online lotteries, and horse/harness racing. This regulation was issued earlier this month on October 1st. This latest regulation would be an extension of the UIGEA which was part of the Safe Port Act that passed over a year ago by the President.

Before the proposed regulation can be put into action, there must be a 60-day public comment period, letting all people who are interested in the matter to be able to express their comments and concerns. PPA is trying to keep the pressure on the policymakers, so they are urging their members to contact both the Department of Treasury and the Federal Reserve to ask them to exempt poker from this new regulation. The PPA has put up on their website some talking points that people could put in their letters that would help them. They do say though that individualized comments are better because they are viewed more seriously by regulators. So, if people believe that poker should be exempt from this new regulation, they should take the time to express their feelings to the Federal Reserve and the Department of Treasury.

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