The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) has seen its membership more than double as the U.S. government works to ban online poker. The organization, which is dedicated to promoting and protecting poker, now has more than 75,000 members from across the United States.
"This large jump in membership shows that American poker players are coming to the defense of a game they love. With the rising threat to the online game, poker players are starting to become politically savvy," said Michael Bolcerek, PPA president, who attributes the rise in numbers as a response to the legislation the U.S. government is trying to pass that would ban online gambling.
On July 11, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act (H.R. 4411) which could ultimately ban all forms of online gambling except for horse race betting and state lotteries.
"More than 70 million people in the United States enjoy poker. In a day and age where computers dominate our daily lives, we must embrace rather than criminalize advancements in technology that allow us the opportunity to play this long-established pastime on the Internet," Bolcerek said. "The right approach is regulation of online poker, not prohibition of America's card game."
Now that the bill has passed the House, the Senate must create and pass identical legislation for it to be considered approved and be presented to the president. Throughout the process, the PPA plans to continue fighting for the rights of American poker players.
"These membership numbers send a message to Congress that poker has a strong following in this country. As the organization continues to grow in members and influence, we fully intend to make these tens of thousands of new voices heard in the halls of Congress," said Bolcerek.
For more information about the PPA, please read "Poker Players Alliance fights for poker's rights."