The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) has done a lot for both live poker and online poker in America. Those significant contributions by the PPA during the last 10 years were made under the leadership of Executive Director John Pappas. After putting in a decade of service to the poker community, Pappas has decided to step down.
Pappas Decides To Pass The Baton
According to the announcement released on the PPA website, Pappas will relinquish his rolesto current Vice President Rich Muny. This is expected to take place at the end of February. Although Pappas is stepping away from the spotlight, the PPA has confirmed that he will continue to be a strategic advisor to the organization.
Linda Johnson, Poker Hall of Famer and the longest serving board member of the PPA said that Pappas has been a great leader to the organization, which has since become a policy advocacy and grassroots powerhouse in state capitals across the US. For more than a decade, Pappas has served as the face and political voice not only of PPA but of the whole poker community and has been largely instrumental to the various achievements of the industry.
Talking about his resignation, Pappas said that while he is departing the organization, the organization’s drive to fight for online gambling will continue. In a statement, Pappas said, “There has never been greater momentum than right now for the advancement of sensible internet gaming policy in the U.S. Whether lawmakers are considering poker, casino gambling or even sports betting, a strong and organized grassroots effort will be critical to legislative success.”
PPA Achievements During The Last 10 Years
Over the past years, under the guidance of Pappas, the PPA has made a significant impact in fighting for poker and other forms of internet gaming. In terms of engaging the poker community, the PPA has established PokerPac, where poker players can support poker-friendly political candidates; launched State Director Program for local poker advocacy and encouraged more than one million poker consumers to actively participate in the poker advocacy.
The PPA has encouraged more than 3 million constituents to contact their lawmakers over poker and iGaming decisions, and contributed immensely to bringing back over $120 million in cash to players who thought their money was gone forever after Black Friday.
On the legal end, the PPA has been directly working with state and federal lawmakers in drafting iPoker legislations. Members of the organization has also testified as an expert witness in more than 25 legislative bodies, created the Litigation Support Network to provide legal assistance to poker players and played significant roles in the legalization of online poker in Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
The PPA has been on the forefront of many of these poker and internet gaming battles. One of their biggest challenges in recent times has been the fight against the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), a legislation that seeks to extend the Federal Wire Act of 1961 and impose a federal ban on online gambling.
Most recently, the PPA played a major role in the push for online gaming legislation in Pennsylvania. In 2015, the PPA launched an action page and encouraged locals who were in favor of online gaming to directly contact Majority Leader Dave Reed, Minority Leader Frank Dermody, and state legislator speaker Mike Turzai and let them know about their stance on the issue. Pappas also delivered a testimony in behalf of the PPA at the Pennsylvania General Assembly with the Joint House and Senate Gaming Oversight Committees in 2017, which greatly outlined the pros of introducing online gaming in the state.
PPA Changing Mode of Operation
While Pappas did not directly explain the reason behind his resignation, many believe that it’s a result of the organization’s struggle with funding. As a non-profit organization, PPA is funded only by donations and private contracts. The press release hinted about PPA’s struggle with financial support from the online gaming industry that’s why they’re shifting to a more “cost-effective grassroots advocacy.”
Despite Pappas’ resignation and the lack of funding, the PPA continues to widen its reach in the community and is now looking to hear from its members whether there is enough interest in covering sports betting and consumer advocacy. Over the past years, despite being a poker-centric organization, the PPA has started to dip its hands in the fight for other forms of gambling such as online casinos and iGaming.

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