We are often asked the question, “When will online poker be legal in my state?” (This is a question from our US friends, who comprise the majority of our membership.)
We know what the public knows. Since Black Friday, poker has become legal in just a handful of U.S. states. Progress in online poker legalization is steady but quite slow.
That poker legalization initiatives move forward at all can be attributed to the Poker Players Alliance, a non-profit organization with over one million poker playing members, dedicated to legalizing online poker and returning the U.S. to the pre-Black Friday days of a nationwide shared online poker player pool.
The PPA has been poker’s loudest lobbying voice in Washington. Every day, they wage a David-and-Goliath battle versus moneyed corporate and political interests. They fight for the revolutionary right of the average poker player to log onto a poker site on a Sunday afternoon and play a $20 tournament.
In a world full of daily fantasy sports sites and state-run scratch-off lotteries, online poker — as a game of skill — ought to be a no-brainer. And yet, we are constantly fighting against a hostile legal environment for online poker, and we need organizations like the PPA more than ever just to make any progress at all.
Black Friday Apocalypse
Black Friday really was the game of poker’s greatest turning point since the Moneymaker effect. Every poker player remembers where she or he was when they heard what happened and stared at the sized domains in their browser, slack-jawed. Millions of bankroll dollars hung in the balance, no one was sure if they’d ever get it back, and online poker was seemingly done for good.
The PPA to the Rescue
In this post-apocalyptic online poker landscape, one organization rose to the challenge of fighting for poker players’ rights and undoing the wrongs that had been done to the game by the federal government. That organization was and is the Poker Players Alliance.
Founded in 2005, the PPA now boasts over one million members. Their lobbying work has educated lawmakers across the nation as to why it’s win-win to legalize online poker in their state. When online poker is legalized in a U.S. state, you will find the PPA’s fingerprints all over the legislative process to get it through.
If you follow the PPA’s blog like we do, you have the pulse of online poker legalization, and the poker industry in general. Currently, it’s down to a state-by-state fight, and poker seems to be one of those areas that may always be regulated on a state level. But there is also a sense that if enough key states legalized online poker, there would be something of a mandate to address the legalization of poker on a federal level.
Wherever that legal battle over online is being fought in America, it is likely being fought by the PPA, whose lobbyist and lawyers take direct action to ensure online poker becomes legal as soon as possible for U.S. residents cut off by Black Friday’s draconian regulation.
How to Support Poker
The whole poker playing community stands behind the PPA as the spearhead of efforts to afford poker the legal status it deserves.
By supporting the PPA, you are supporting poker at large:
- Contact Your State Lawmakers – The PPA encourages you to directly contact your state elected officials with a message of support for poker.
- Follow PPA on Twitter and Facebook, and make sure to re-share their posts to spread the word wide.
- Donate to PPA and directly support the organization that is directly supporting your rights as a poker player.
- If you’re not going to donate, at lest consider signing up with your email to receive action updates on how you can make your voice heard to further the goals of the poker community at large.