Online Poker

Robert Wexler is an Influential Ally for the Poker Player’s Alliance

by Poker Team

As mentioned in an earlier article, we are in the midst of National Poker Week.  As part of the festivities, the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) held what is known as a Fly-In dinner in Washington.  The purpose of this event was to put a recognizable face of the organization in front of Congress as they try to work to change legislation in the United States as it pertains to the game of poker.

The attendee list was chock full of poker stars, including 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Greg Raymer, Full Tilt Poker pros Andy Bloch and Howard Lederer, Tournament Directors Association Co-Founder Linda Johnson, and “Celebrity Apprentice” runner-up Annie Duke.  In addition, PPA Chariman Alfonse D’Amato, PPA Executive Director John Pappas and Congressman Robert Wexler were all in attendance as well.

The event was a rousing success and was kicked off by a keynote address by D’Amato in which he made a statement which drew what would be the loudest cheers of the evening.  He said, “One person at the forefront… and has stood up specifically for… player versus player, and not versus the house, games – No one has been stronger than Bob Wexler.

” It is perhaps not common knowledge to most that Congressman Wexler has stood behind the rights of poker players since this debate has risen up.  When it was his turn to speak, Wexler spoke of the ultimate purpose of National Poker Week by stating that told the crowd “To put a face on the issue is very important. It’s an apple pie issue. Poker is a game that has been played in the White House, the Supreme Court, and… by some of the biggest names in American history.”  He also went on to compliment D’Amato, calling him a “class act in the finest sense of the word.”

Wexler urged persistence on the part of the attendees and the PPA membership in general and urged all to take an active role in reaching out to legislators and re-emphasized his point by saying

“When you go meet with your Congressmen, your job is only half done. When you get back home, follow up with your local office. You can’t imagine how important that is. Spend 15 minutes with the director of the local office.”

Wexler has been quite critical of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act since it’s controversial passing in 2006.  His words were met by more applause when he referred to Congressman Barney Frank an important ally in this effort.

The evening seemed to be a pep rally of sorts as it was a formal call into action.  Attendees were presented with informational packets filled with interesting data points including the fact that over 10 million Americans currently play online poker and an additional 60 million play the game as well.  The hope of this is to get members to support HR 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, which was introduced in May.

Perhaps the mere presence of a distinguished Congressional member such as Wexler will be enough to sway some more key decision-makers.

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