Californian Casinos Step Up Attack On Poker Players Alliance

This week, the Commerce Casino caused outrage amongst members of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) after it’s revelation that it was against any federal licensing of online poker.
The Commerce Casino’s opposition to Barney Frank’s HR 2267 and McDermott’s HR 2268 bills may have caused a furore in the poker playing community, but now more casinos have come out in support of the Commerce, including the Bicycle Casino, Hollywood Park and Hawaiian Gardens.
Responding to criticism by the PPA that they were greedy, betrayers of the poker community,  Commerce Casino board member Haig Papaian and Tom Malkasian dismissed the PPA as one of many  “special interest groups receiving funds from illegal offshore gaming operators.”
The Commerce Casino claims to employ over 20,000 workers in the state of California. Furthermore, with 70% of Californians using the interenet and  $13.4 billion wagered annually online, the Commerce said it was keen to protect what is the biggest internet gaming market worldwide. As Malkasian explained in an interview with Poker News Daily:
“Federal and state regulation of online poker is coming and we can either fight to ensure that poker players’ interests are protected or allow illegal foreign operators, who are siphoning millions of American dollars out of this country, to dominate the U.S. market”
“If domestic card casinos do not defend themselves from offshore interests, we stand to lose not only revenue but also the loss of jobs. We are against the Frank and McDermott bills. (The) Poker Players Alliance should be against this, too.”
So far, the PPA seem unmoved by the Commerce casino’s stance with over 6,000 poker players already having signed a PPA organised online  petition voicing their dissatisfaction with the casino. Amongst those players adding their weight to the petition are Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, Patrik Antonius, John Juanda, Joe Sebok, Erick Lindgren and David Williams.
In addition, PPA Executive Director John Pappas countered some of the Commerce’s argument by highlighting the fact that the HR 2267 bill stipulates that poker companies would be required to have at least 50% of their operations within the country. He summed up by stating:
“It’s pretty clear their only concern is that they don’t want to compete.”
As the war of words continues between the casinos and the PPA, we will endeavour to bring you any updates to the story as they develop.

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