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PPA takes stand against Commerce Casino

27 Aug 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Citing concerns that the Commerce Casino has turned its back on poker enthusiasts nationwide by putting profits ahead of player interest and aligning with those determined to ban online poker, the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the leading poker grassroots advocacy group with more than one million members nationwide, today launched a campaign to seek to change Commerce Casino's position on federal licensing and regulation of online poker as proposed in H.R. 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act. PPA's open letter to Commerce Casino has already yielded support signatures from over 120 high-level 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 legislation that would protect players' rights and access to online poker," said John Pappas, executive director of the PPA. "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. At the same time, intra-state licensing legislation 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" campaign allows PPA members and all poker players to call, email or tweet the Commerce Casino to express their disappointment and urge the organization 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. Federal efforts to regulate Internet gaming has received support from several brick-and-mortar casinos – including those with no vested stake in online poker – and hopes to see others in the community to join the call to encourage Commerce Casino to support poker player rights.

"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," continued Pappas. "I urge all poker players to contact Commerce Casino and express your disappointment."
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