Friday, December 23, 2011

Why I do not, cannot, and likely will never support the PPA

Apparently poker got some good news today, as the Wire Act was deemed by the US Department of Justice to not apply to poker. I am not a legal expert and so I defer to those who are for an in-depth examination of this news. That's not what this post is about. This post is about the following quote from John Pappas of the Poker Player's Alliance, which jumped out and hit me square between the eyes with as much force and surprise as any left jab I've seen this week:
“The PPA commends Assistant Attorney General Seitz for recognizing this. However, this ruling makes it even more important that Congress acts now to clarify federal law, and to create a licensing and regulation regime for Internet poker, coupled with clear laws and strong enforcement against other forms of gambling deemed to be illegal.” (Emphasis mine.)
And this, very simply, is why I cannot in good conscience support the PPA. "My gambling is okay, but your gambling is illegal and should be punished," is the height of hypocrisy. It is indefensible. It is, morally speaking, little better than if the civil rights movement were to have argued for equal rights for blacks but continued oppression of Hispanics and Jews.

I've, at times, wanted to support the PPA. After the passage of the UIGEA, I actually got as far as the signup page on their website. But the John Pappases of the world do not represent me and can never represent me as long as this is their position. This, in my view, is the worst type of special interest group; the ones that are willing to actively throw others under the bus so that they can emerge from the wreck.

These people are no friends of liberty. In the end, what matters is not the freedom to play poker. It is freedom, period.


  1. I personally like how the initiative is aimed only at Poker and nothing else.

    I think its a more realistic path to legalize online poker, as we won't have to join a broad coalition of other forms of gambling, and we won't have to argue for them as well. I don't think we should have to argue for other forms of gambling, or even bring them into the same conversation as poker. For instance, do we want to talk about legalizing dog fighting or russian roulette as we fight for internet poker?

  2. Honestly, I have to agree with you. While I agree we need to get the IPoker thing fixed but this willingness to slit the throats of others to get your agenda passed faster just sickens me. This is the same political gamesmenship politicians play all the time and now the PPA is doing it. Quite frankly I like or would like to be able to place a small wager on sporting events if I chose to do so (once I move to AZ I could drive to Laughlin NV on the border to do so but Id much rather do it in my own home). I used to do so on Bodog occasionally (mostly UFC fights and when I was sure certain games were locks based on messed up lines by the bookies). What the hell I do in my own home is nobodys business but my own. Im all for proper legal identification issues to ensure minors arent violating the law and Im all for exclusionary provisions for problem gamblers but why the hell should I be prevented from placing a wager on a sports event because soem other joe shmoe or even famous person cant exhibt there own self-control and wager their money away they need to pay bills. This has gone on too many times before with other things. Prohibition does not work. It didnt work in the 20s and 30s with Alchohol and its not working now with what is a legal form of entertainment for those over 21 in states with casinos for those who arent close enough to drive to one. Honestly Im surprised by the previous opposition by B&Ms because lets face it their economy isnt that great either so anyway they can get more juice you'd think would be a positive for them in the end

  3. Very well said. Could not agree more.

  4. I see how the phrase looks nefarious, but it's just legal jargon to keep away the moral christian right. It's really pretty minor and honestly, the ppa's lobbyists are going to use their limited funds to lobby exclusively for ipoker.