The poker world knows that the Poker Players Alliance fights for the legalization of online poker, but it is good to realize that their duties do not end there – the PPA is also keen to defend online poker from the negative image created by fraud and unscrupulous operators within the industry, and particularly by the recent Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet super-user scandals.
The Poker Players Alliance describes itself as the leading poker grassroots advocacy group, focused on pursuing the legalization and regulation of online poker. In the context of the fight to legalize online poker, former U.S. Senator and chairman of the PPA Alfonse D’Amato has just released a statement condemning the recent security breaches in major sites Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet, and requesting a “full and transparent accounting” from the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.
D’Amato starts by clarifying the PPA’s position regarding online poker and what the PPA’s real responsibilities are: “To be clear, the Poker Players Alliance is not a regulatory body for poker players or the poker industry, nor do we seek to be.We are, however, compelled to speak out when our public policy mission is potentially undermined by actions which present Internet poker in a negative light.”
Once this is out of the way, D’Amato goes on to deplore the current state of legislation for online poker, which makes online fraud especially difficult to prosecute: “Because of the current legal uncertainties and the lack of federal regulation and oversight, it is especially troubling when cheating occurs in online poker. This has created an untenable atmosphere and has denied the proper means to investigate allegations, administer due process and then apply appropriate penalties for the wrongdoers.” Because of this, and of the damage caused to the image of online poker by these serious breaches of ethics, D’Amato urges all parties involved to come clean and make a full disclosure, “We urge these companies and their regulating authority, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, to provide a full and transparent accounting of these breaches of the public trust to help lift the black cloud that has been placed over the industry.”
Not one to miss an opportunity to speak for legalizing online poker, D’Amato turns these scandals around and encourages the U.S. government to regulate online poker as a means to prevent such events from occurring again or going unpunished: “The recent cheating scandals underscore the need for U.S. licensing and regulation of online poker to help protect consumers.While even the most highly regulated industries are susceptible to fraud and abuse, regulation does provide assurances that when consumers are harmed they have recourse.” D’Amato adds, “These scandals will not and should not be the demise of a responsible government approach to Internet poker.Instead, this can be the pathway to understanding that regulation is the key to protecting citizens and the future of America’s card game.”