Poker Players Alliance Supports Rep. Frank’s Legislation

by Lou on April 27, 2007

The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) announced its support of Congressman Barney Frank’s introduction of Internet gambling legislation.
“Congressman Frank’s bill is a common sense approach to Internet gambling,” said Senator Alfonse D’Amato, PPA Chairman of the Board. “Licensing and regulation will allow us to sort out the most responsible sites — those who are good corporate citizens — from those engaged in unscrupulous activities and practices. This legislation creates common sense public policy that establishes real safeguards, protecting minors and problem gamblers while allowing the majority of adults to enjoy poker and other games online.”

Frank’s bill defines a set of criteria by which banks and financial institutions will be allowed to process funds to and from Internet gambling sites that meet strict licensing and regulations. Such criteria would include requirements that sites operate state of the art age verification software, programs to help problem gamblers, and other controls to detect and stop money laundering activities.

“Americans have played poker throughout history. Playing poker on the Internet is simply an example of an American tradition evolving into the 21st century,” continued D’Amato.

“The age verification technology that exists today to keep kids off of poker sites was non-existent years ago. The time is now to license and regulate operators and allow U.S. poker sites to compete with off-shore ones. The Internet poker genie is out of the bottle; you cannot put it back. The United Kingdom successfully regulates Internet gambling and with this bill we can too.”

Last October, Congress approved and the President signed the Safe Ports Act, legislation that included the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. As a result of the plan, banks and credit card companies are required to monitor all financial transactions of its customers and block payments to online gambling sites. In addition, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are forced to deny access to gaming sites all together. While outlawing Internet poker, the legislation exempts other forms of online gambling such as horse racing, fantasy sports, and state lotteries.

Michael Bolcerek, President of the PPA adds, “As opposed to driving the entertainment activities of millions of Americans underground, which the ban unintentionally does, Chairman Frank’s legislation will add greater visibility to this area and better address social and financial concerns.”

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