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Poker Notes

New online poker advocacy group emerges Fair Play USA

A new online poker advocacy group was launched this week, dubbed Fair Play USA. According to the site’s About Us page: “FairPlayUSA is a new coalition of law enforcement officials, consumer protection experts, poker players, companies in the commercial gaming industry and other Americans concerned about Internet gambling.”

Fair Play USA currently has an eclectic three-person Board of Advisors which includes:

  • 2004 World Series of Poker Champion Greg Raymer (Raymer is still listed as being on the Board of Directors of the Poker Players Alliance as well)
  • Consumer and Family Cybersafety Lawyer Parry Aftab
  • Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge

It will be interesting to see what tact Fair Play USA takes, as the best known poker advocacy group, the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), has been pursuing legislation on the federal level, while another online poker advocacy group, iMEGA, has been focusing on legislation at the state level. Similar to the PPA, Fair Play USA has a petition for visitors to sign which is then sent on to members of Congress.

According to the FairPlayUSA site: “Our goal is to educate policymakers and the public on the broad public policy interests raised by the current ambiguous laws in the U.S. that have led to millions of Americans gambling on the Internet.  FairPlayUSA supports Congress once and for all defining what is illegal gambling and providing stronger law enforcement tools to ban such gambling, as well as providing a strict regulatory framework for online poker.

“State of the art technology, coupled with strict regulation, will enforce our laws, protect players and children, and create tens of thousands of American jobs. We believe that poker, “America’s Game,” should be safe and fair for law-abiding players. Our goal is to educate and create public momentum for effective law enforcement, consumer protection, and strict regulation.”

And the site lists their principles as:

  1. Strengthen the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 to unambiguously eliminate illegal Internet gambling.
  2. Provide tools to crack down on unlicensed foreign operators who do not comply with U.S. law; removing U.S. banks as the enforcers under UIGEA and empowering law enforcement to shut down illegal operators.
  3. Give states and tribes the authority to accept or prohibit online poker and mandate sophisticated tools to block consumers in those prohibited areas.
  4. Establish a strict gaming regulatory framework for licensing and enforcement of online poker in jurisdictions that want to be part of a federal network.
  5. Require licensed operators to offer state-of-the-art problem gambling controls that give players the option to limit their wagers, deposits, losses, and playing time.
  6. Mandate that operators of licensed online poker sites maintain a complete record of all transactions and player identities, and that they comply with existing U.S. laws on federal bank secrecy and suspicious transaction reporting.
  7. Require that technologies currently used successfully in other age-sensitive industries be used to combat underage poker play.
  8. Mandate technological safeguards to ensure that games are fair and honest, offering the same strict regulatory scrutiny as commercial poker rooms.
  9. Allow states to capture much-needed revenue from a licensed, regulated, federal poker network.
  10. Mandate that players’ deposits be maintained in escrow accounts and available on demand.
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  • Posted in: Poker, Poker News
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