PPA takes fight to Kentucky

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Kentucky is known for its fried chicken, bluegrass and horse racing, but despite the people's penchant for some betting on the ponies, the governor's race has spurred a great debate about allowing other forms of gambling in the state.

Now the Poker Players Alliance is stepping in as well to help raise support for poker in the state after Governor Ernie Fletcher has taken an anti-gambling and anti-poker stance during his race for re-election.

"In response to Governor Ernie Fletcher's election-year change of heart with regard to allowing Kentuckians to vote on gaming in the commonwealth, the Kentucky members of the 760,000-member Poker Players Alliance have kicked off an advocacy campaign in support of poker in the commonwealth," said the PPA in a press release.

Leading the charge is PPA Kentucky State Director Rich Muny, who announced this week the organization's initiation of a statewide effort to encourage all Kentucky poker players to contact the governor and other local and state politicians to express strong opposition to the governor's anti-poker efforts.

"Governor Fletcher is running not on his achievements of the past four years, but on a campaign of distraction," Muny said. "In the process, Fletcher has demonized the good folks who enjoy the game of poker."

Several hundred e-mails have already been sent to the governor, and many more are forthcoming according to the PPA. Muny is urging Kentucky PPA members and poker enthusiasts in the state to contact the governor, either by phone at (502) 607-8683, or e-mail at contact@erniefletcher.com.

"Tell him you'll vote for your freedom and for Kentucky," Muny said.

That could mean voting for his opponent, Steve Beshear, who is promoting a public vote to allow limited expanded gambling to help provide revenue for things like education and health care.

"Reasonable people may disagree on whether to allow expanded gaming, but I think everyone on either side of the issue can agree that it's time to let the people vote," Beshear says on his campaign Web site.

The PPA points out that currently states such as Indiana have casinos with cardrooms built right near Kentucky's borders, taking the business and revenue from the state.

According to Beshear, studies indicate that each year hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians go just across the state's borders to other states where gambling is allowed. It is estimated that if Kentucky allowed expanded gaming within the state, it would generate revenues of nearly $1,250,000,000.

"Kentucky deserves to keep this revenue in our own state for the benefit of our own citizens," Muny said. "Additionally, our citizens deserve the freedom to choose to play a hand of poker."

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