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GOP Meanies Ensure Online Gambling Back on Platform

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Aug/27/2008

The GOP takest away than they giveth right back, in the form of an amendment prohibiting online gambling as a key platform issue.  Go figure!

Yesterday, Gambling911.com reported on how the powerful million member strong Poker Players Alliance was successful in getting the Republican Platform Committee to drop a prohibition of online gambling from its draft platform, as part of an effort to appeal to the broadest possible constituency.

That lasted all but 8 hours. By nightfall an amendment had ensured the prohibition was back on the GOP platform.

The PPA, led by former Republican New York Senator Alfonse D'Amato, urged its members to write in to the GOP and demand Internet gambling prohibition be excluded from the platform.

"We can use this to make the tent bigger," Sen. Richard M. Burr , R-N.C., and co-chairman of the platform committee, said of the compressed document.

The Poker Players Alliance has spent $1.2 million during the first half of 2008 and members have contributed more than $350,000 to candidates this election year.

"This is a small victory in our determined effort to educate both sides of the aisle that there is a true constituency in America that values its Internet freedoms," said John Pappas, the alliance's executive director, just prior to the amendment.

Republicans as a whole have led efforts to ensure online gambling prohibition remains intact, though a few individuals from the party have supported efforts of Democrat Barney Frank and others to legalize Internet gaming.

"My point is simple. Is the Republican Party no longer the party of personal freedom and individual responsibility?" wrote Greg Raymer, a professional player who won the 2004 World Series of Poker. "Why has this party, that used to protect my rights, now become the party that wants to create a Nanny-state?"

The Republican platforms of 2000 and 2004 each included the following language: "Millions of Americans suffer from problem or pathological gambling that can destroy families. We support legislation prohibiting gambling over the Internet or in student athletics by student athletes who are participating in competitive sports."

But Gambling911.com as quick to point out that while the latest draft released Tuesday dropped the language, Burr said the Internet gambling provision was one of several smaller-ticket items left on the cutting-room floor and could still be added at a later date - or in this case - a later hour.

"We firmly believe that if this is a big enough issue, it would be offered as an amendment," Burr said.

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