The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) is urging players to speak out in protest of the recently introduced bipartisan Internet Gambling Prohibition Act which aims to prohibit Americans from playing and wagering at Internet poker and gaming sites. The Las Vegas-based grassroots organization contends there is a growing likelihood that Congress will legislate the bill and is advising players to voice their opposition to such a move.
The new bill, H.R. 4777, was introduced earlier this month by Virginian Republican representative Bob Goodlatte and Democrat Rick Boucher, also of Virginia.
According to the PPA, Goodlatte and other members of Congress are using this bill "in a misguided attempt to lump poker in with other forms of gambling. Although they claim to have an exclusion for games with a 'predominance of skill,' poker has been singled out."
The PPA believes the troubling legislation includes a number of important issues, but have highlighted three specific points as "key":
- H.R. 4777 tramples the rights of poker players who enjoy playing online, and represents a precedent that could lead to the federal government denying people the right to play poker in offline venues.
- H.R. 4777 hypocritically makes exceptions for some gaming activities, including state lotteries and placing online bets for horse races, but prohibits games of skill like poker.
- H.R. 4777 forces Internet service providers (ISPs) to eliminate access to gaming content on the Internet. As such, the federal government is moving away from long-established protections of free speech in the United States.
According to the PPA, Representatives Goodlatte and Boucher have already gathered 115 co-sponsors for the bill, representing districts in 36 different states.
Players interested in defeating this bill should visit www.pokerplayersalliance.org.
Players interested in finding out more about H.R. 4777 can read PokerListings.com's previous article at H.R. 4777 Details Released.