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PPA testifies before California committee

9 Feb 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- The Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the leading poker grassroots advocacy group with more than one million members nationwide and over 120,000 members in California, today testified before the California Senate Governmental Organization Committee that not only is online poker able to be regulated, it is currently being effectively regulated across the globe. The Committee called the hearing to investigate licensing and regulating intrastate online poker.

"The PPA respects the due-diligence of the Committee to investigate "if" online poker can be regulated, and we stand here to tell you that it unquestionably can be regulated, and in fact, already is being regulated, very effectively, across the globe in well-respected jurisdictions," said John Pappas, executive director of the PPA, who testified along with PPA's California State Director Steven J. Miller. "The U.S. Congress is debating federal bills that would establish a licensed and regulated online poker marketplace, which the PPA strongly supports."

"Given California's love affair with poker, the PPA and our members feel strongly that if the state decides to go down the path of intra-state licensed and regulated Internet poker it must do it with the long-term needs of the consumer and of the State and California Tribes in mind," testified Miller.

The PPA outlined several suggestions for the Committee to consider to ensure potential intrastate licensing and regulation is done in an effective, competitive manner.

  • Respect the consumer. Without the buy-in from the online poker community, efforts to regulate the game will be futile.
  • Ensure competition: The true opportunity for California is to capitalize and regulate the current market, add new entrants, and provide the poker player with expanded choice and consumer safeguards at the same time. Limiting the marketplace to one online poker provider, as has been discussed, will create a monopoly, turn away consumers, and stifle innovation. In short, it will not work.
  • Protect access to the global poker marketplace. PPA members and poker players in California are concerned that intrastate licensing and regulation will limit their play to other California players only. This not only hurts the consumers, but it hurts the tax revenue potential for the state of California. If a player can't find a game online that they want to play, they will simply not play and that means that an opportunity to generate tax revenue is lost.

"A conservative strategy is the favored approach when considering the future of online poker regulation in California. It would be unwise to push "all-in" on an intra-state monopoly that favors a consortium of interests when it is the consumers who ultimately hold the best hand," concluded Pappas.

 
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