To open the calendar year of 2010, officials from the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) will focus their energy mostly on state level, the states where the PPA are targeting to legalize online poker include Florida, California, Alaska, and Delaware.
The success of this depends mostly on Congressman Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. The PPA has gradually focused on legalizing and regulating online poker and gambling at the state level. In Florida, the demand for legalized online poker in the state is increasing, this has lead PPA Director John Pappas to have testified in January before the Florida Senate Regulated Industries Committee. Despite the apparently positive introduction of an Internet casino gambling law within the state, the PPA has been reluctant to fully support the proposal. Recently, the organization expressed its skepticism: “Florida is contemplating a single-source provider of online poker, i.e. one poker website. PPA is concerned that the lack of competition and consumer choice could also negatively impact the player experience.” Frank’s HR 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act, allows several Internet casino gambling sites to attract U.S. customers.
Delaware and Pennsylvania, has passed legislation that introduces and expands table games including poker. The PPA is very enthusiastic about both developments and said: “The PPA welcomes this as a first step in advancing opportunities for poker players to play games of skill such as Texas Hold’em in a licensed and regulated atmosphere.” The new table games will probably debut mid-2010. In Alaska, a unique battle is underway over whether charitable poker tournaments are allowed by law. Beginning in February, Pappas testified before the California Senate for more competition in a proposal for legalization of online gambling. Pappas said: “We believe in a competitive market, one that is beneficial for anyone who wants to be in the market.”
In their monthly update, the PPA quickly pointed out that online poker players contributed more than 1.5 million U.S. dollars to the victims of the devastating earthquake which struck Haiti on January 12. The larger online casino sites matched player donations euro for euro.