Former U.S. Senator and devoted poker player Al D’Amato leads efforts to protect America’s favorite card game

by Lou on March 6, 2007

On February 15 — three weeks ago — I reported that former US Senator Alfonse D’Amato would soon be lobbying on behalf of the online poker industry.
While it was a widely reported open secret within the poker community, the Poker Player’s Alliance did not confirm that the deal with D’Amato was done until yesterday. The Poker Players Alliance (PPA), a grassroots organization of more than 160,000 poker enthusiasts, announced on March 5 that Alfonse D’Amato joined them to serve as Chairman of the Board and help lead efforts in Washington D.C. to protect the game of poker.
“I have had a passion for poker since my childhood, and for politics almost as long. This new position will allow me to fuse these passions and help establish sensible policy that allows Americans to enjoy the great game of poker in the venue of their choosing,” said the former senator from New York, Alfonse D’Amato.
Michael Bolcerek, president of the PPA added, “We are thrilled to have Senator D’Amato take up our cause to promote and protect the game played by millions of Americans. His enthusiasm, tenacity and political astuteness will bolster the influence of the PPA and help earn poker a much deserved exemption from the recent online gaming law. For the past 18 months Linda Johnson, the First Lady of Poker, skillfully lead our organization as Chairwoman, today the First Senator of Poker will lead the charge.”
The Poker Players Alliance will work with Congress to provide a skill game exemption for poker and pave the way for eventual regulation and taxation of the industry in the United States.
“Prohibitions don’t work; they only create unintended consequences. The American people know this and we are going to make sure Congress knows it too,” said Senator D’Amato. “We need common sense regulation of Internet poker. Prohibition will only drive the industry underground and strip away any protections for children and services for problem gamblers.”

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