WASHINGTON, D.C. -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Members of Congress continue to recognize the value of federal licensing and regulation of online poker, according to a ratings guide released by the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the leading poker grassroots advocacy group with more than 1.2 million members nationwide.
The PPA’s Congressional Ratings Guide rates each member of Congress on his or her support for the game of poker, based on votes and co-sponsorship of legislation, outreach to colleagues, letters to constituents, public statements, feedback from PPA's advocacy team and feedback from meetings with PPA members. Serving as a valuable resource for poker advocates, the Ratings Guide provides players a simple way to determine which members of Congress support online poker rights. The guide is available at www.theppa.org/congress.
“In the past four years, the PPA has more than doubled the number of members of Congress who have a rating, even with a turnover of almost 100 Freshman Senators and Representatives at the start of the 112th Congress,” said John Pappas, executive director of the PPA. “The education and advocacy efforts of the PPA are clearly having an impact. Just six years ago, two-thirds of the U.S. House publicly and proudly voted to prohibit online poker. Today, the vocal opponents of online poker in the Congress are approaching extinction. In fact, even some who voted in favor of the 2006 prohibition are the most ardent supporters of a regulated marketplace that gives adult Americans the freedom to play poker online. But the fight is not over. We must continue to advocate for Congress to pass commonsense federal legislation to protect the freedoms of millions of Americans who enjoy this great American game.”
While researching their elected officials on the PPA Ratings Guide, members can send an e-mail to their members of Congress directly from the Guide to voice their support for poker. PPA members can also view correspondence sent by their member of Congress on poker in response to letters, e-mails, calls and Tweets received by constituents.
The PPA Congressional Ratings Guide is searchable by state and ZIP code, and will be updated periodically.
The Ratings Guide release coincided with the unveiling of the results of the 2012 U.S. Online Poker Survey. The survey of PPA members nationwide, conducted by U.S. Gaming Survey and commissioned by the PPA, found that in every swing state and “election fringe state,” respondents overwhelmingly stated they would be willing to vote against their registered party if the other candidate supported online poker and their party's candidate did not.
“After years of sending letters, placing calls, utilizing social networks and meeting directly with their members of Congress, the poker-playing community understands the political power they wield, and licensing and regulating online poker is their top priority,” said Pappas. “It is clear that the frustration of being restricted from playing online poker is driving these Americans to the polls in greater numbers to demand that their voice be heard this election season.”
In Ohio and North Carolina, two battleground states in the upcoming presidential election, 60 percent of respondents said they would change their vote. That number rose to 66 percent in Florida, the swing state that was pivotal in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. Fully three-quarters (75 percent) of all respondents indicated that their votes for the House and the Senate would be influenced by support for licensed online poker. The survey also demonstrated that the poker-playing community is essentially bipartisan, with a nearly even split between Republican and Democratic respondents.
Poker players have made a noticeable impact on elections in the past, most recently in 2010, when outreach by the PPA to Colorado poker players played a key role in Senator Michael Bennet’s (D-CO) narrow victory in his re-election bid.
To view the PPA Congressional Ratings Guide, please visit www.theppa.org/congress.
A summary of the U.S. Gaming Association survey can be found at http://www.usgamingsurvey.com/online-poker-political-alliance.html. A full version of the report is available upon request.
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