Business executive John Pappas will spearhead lobbying and grassroots efforts to legalize poker in the U.S. as the Poker Players Alliance's government relations vice-president, the organization announced recently.
Pappas, who worked with the PPA as a consultant before taking on the role, will be the first permanent employee in the group's Washington, D.C., office.
"It is obviously an issue that I have known and followed the politics and policy of for nearly two years now," he said in a release from the alliance.
"Any time you have a chairman of a committee introducing legislation, then it will be an interesting issue and get a lot of attention. I want to be part of that."
The players' rights organization has been fighting to license and regulate poker since the U.S. approved a ban on Internet gambling last October. Pappas's job will be to coordinate the government lobbying and rally support from fans of the game.
Prior to enlisting with the PPA, Pappas worked as a consultant with Dittus Communications and was the communications director for Rep. John B. Shadegg.
The PPA will keep ties with Dittus Communications, which lobbied on behalf of the alliance last year at a cost of $540,000.