An online group called Poker Patriots was recently formed to help fight against the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) recently passed into law as part of the SAFE Port Act in the United States.
The act helps outlaw online gambling by making it illegal for people to use U.S. financial institutions and banking tools such as credit cards and wire transfers to pay for gambling online. Hank Tamerlane and Doug Savoy saw the President's signing of the act into law as a direct threat to people's freedom to play poker and decided to form Poker Patriots.
They said in a press release, "A patriot is a defender of individual rights against interference by the federal government - (Senator Bill) Frist and (Representative Bob) Goodlatte's efforts are pure interference. America is the birthplace of poker and is an institution, a tradition, a legend - poker is America. It is inherent in all American poker players to defend their rights against these special interests and become Poker Patriots."
The mission of Poker Patriots is to provide players, operators and affiliates of the online gambling industry with the tools, training, resources and support needed to fight the UIGEA. The organization will work with a broad range of communities, organizations and movements to facilitate the sharing of information and expertise to strengthen the fight against this prohibition and move toward legalization and regulation of the online gambling industry.
"We believe building partnerships with organizers and communities to create opportunities for participatory learning, networking, and resource sharing is the most powerful way we as individuals can contribute to achieving positive change," said the founders on their Web site, www.pokerpatriots.com.
The group plans to fight the UIGEA through petitions, lobbying, protests, debates and discussion. The Poker Patriots Web site will act as a central source of information, opinion and the actions the group believes are necessary to fight the new law.
"Poker Patriots will strive to create a community of players and advocates with a purpose - to reverse the UIGEA and demand the U.S. government license and regulate the industry," said Tamerlane and Savoy. "We all know that this 'prohibition' is more 'protectionism' disguised as morality, so let's face this reality together."
For more information or to join Poker Patriots, visit www.pokerpatriots.com.