TOPS-Poker shares some harsh words over the Poker Players Alliance and their motivation behind backing new poker legislation that could ultimately keep their members from playing the sport they love indefinitely.
Online PR News – 10-May-2011 – – TOPS-Poker.org, an online poker news site dedicated to the actual players within the United States, shared harsh words for the Poker Players Alliance and their recent efforts to push for a new gambling bill in Washington. According to Steven Hastings, a spokesperson at TOPS, the actions of this lobbying group bring into question exactly who they are supposed to be representing in the first place.
"Here you have this organization that is supposed to represent hundreds of thousands of American poker players, yet they're only objective at this point seems to focus on new legislation," Hastings said in a press conference on Tuesday, "As far as we can see, online poker is currently legal in 41 of the fifty US states already. Does this organization really represent people like you and me or are they just another lapdog for casino mogul Steve Wynn?"
While explaining his position, Hastings pointed out that the word "poker" or a definition of "illegal online gambling" can not be found anywhere inside the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act of 2006. The legislation instead left those clarifications up to future lawmakers or to each state's policy on online gambling. Hastings also explained that the only thing that the UIGEA did accomplish was to block US-based financial institutions from transferring money directly to "illegal online gambling" establishments; which again, is left to interpretation inside other documents.
"If the UIGEA does not explicitly state anywhere within its contents that online poker is illegal, why would the Poker Players Alliance seek out a change in policy all of a sudden," asked Hastings. "Full Tilt and PokerStars were busted for money laundering, which allegedly made their business illegal since it was owned by a foreign corporation. What does that have to do with the online poker sites that follow the current US laws?"
Even though the future of fully legalized, regulated online poker inside the United States could be months or even years away, several other foreign poker rooms are still accepting US players at a record pace since they do not feel like the UIGEA has any legal merit. Lock Poker, in particular, seems to be one of the most popular destinations since Sportsbook Poker and several others finally backed out of US markets on May 1st of this year. Do not count out Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker quite yet either; they may be planning to fight the shutdown of their domains in international court.
"Unfortunately, all good things in life eventually come down to money," Hastings added during the May 10th press conference. "In this case, all of the online poker money was going to offshore businesses that did not pay US taxes...which was simply too much for some of our lawmakers to bear. It's a shame that the Poker Players Alliance seems to be rallying around the idea that profits are more important that their loyal members who just want to play poker; some might say that they're selling out the hand that feeds them."