Online poker in Obama's book

Chris Ferguson
As a member of the PPA Board of Directors and a poker player, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson must be pleased.

It appears the licensing and regulation of online poker is now officially on US President Barack Obama's agenda.

In the White House Citizen's Briefing Book released Tuesday, online poker is the top technology issue and the 11th issue overall.

"Poker players around the country are speaking with one voice to protect the game they love, and the White House is hearing that message," Poker Players Alliance Executive Director John Pappas said.

"[This] proves that this is not a niche issue, but a national public policy that this Congress and this president should advance this year."

The White House asked citizens to submit policy proposals to be voted on through its website, Those issues with the strongest support were included in the Citizen's Briefing Book officially sent to President Obama this week.

The proposal to "Boost America's Economy with Legal Online Poker," received 46,890 points, making it the number one technology issue and just outside the top ten overall.

The proposal, originally crafted by online poker player Aaron Huertas of Washington, D.C., asks the government to reform the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act to exempt poker, boost the US economy by letting American players and companies make money and pay taxes instead of sending the business offshore, and help protect against online cheating.

Over the past few months the PPA has made a strong push for the poker community to get behind the initiative.

"We hope the Administration hears and acts upon the clear message sent via the Citizen's Briefing Book," Pappas added.

"The poker community stands ready to work with President Obama and Congress to make sure the will of the people is acted upon."


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