Poker Players Alliance Praises Robert Menendez Bill

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The Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the leading poker grassroots advocacy group with more than one million members nation-wide, today commended Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) for introducing S. 3616, the Internet Skill Game Licensing and Control Act. The legislation establishes the needed licensing and regulatory framework for the United States to exercise appropriate control and oversight over Internet poker and other games of skill.

"This action by Senator Menendez is yet another example that prohibitions on Internet gambling, and specifically poker, will not work to protect consumers," said PPA Chairman and Former Senator Alfonse D'Amato. "The PPA has long advocated for thoughtful and effective licensing and regulation of online poker as a means to protect vulnerable communities, such as children and compulsive gamblers, and provide appropriate controls to thwart consumer fraud and abuse. Senator Menendez's legislation is the right vehicle to achieve those goals."

Until now legislative action in this area has been limited to the U.S. House of Representatives with Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA), sponsor of H.R. 2046, and Representative Robert Wexler (D-FL), sponsor of H.R. 2610, leading the charge for licensed and regulated poker. Senator Menendez's bill is an exciting new development and a welcome legislative proposal of which millions of American poker players can be proud.

The introduction of S. 3616 follows a recent bipartisan victory in the House Financial Services Committee where legislation, H.R. 6870, was passed requiring clarification of the vague definition of "unlawful Internet gambling" contained in the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Industry and regulators, including the Federal Reserve and Department of Treasury, testified to the unworkable nature of UIGEA as passed and the burden it places on the already troubled banking industry. S 3616 would provide even more clarity to the murky UIGEA and would relieve the banking industry from the ill-advised and costly burden of attempting to police private conduct at this critical economic moment in our nation's history.

Key provisions of the bill include:

Thorough vetting of potential licensees; Mandatory implementation of technologies to protect against underage gambling and to monitor and detect individuals with excessive gaming habits; High standards to thwart fraud and abuse of customers; Regulation to prevent money laundering; and, Processes to prevent tax avoidance.

"On behalf of the members of the PPA and online poker players nation-wide, I would like to thank Senator Menendez on his leadership on this important issue. We look forward to working with him and his Senate colleagues to enact this sound public policy," said D'Amato.

The full text of the bill can be found at www.pokerplayersalliance.org

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