The Poker Players Alliance has announced that its back in business under the rebranded name of Poker Alliance. The organization also found a new backer in Poker Central, eliminating the need to beg for donations from poker players who often questioned whose best interests were being served.
The bailout and rebranding comes just months after PPA President Rich Muny bombarded poker players via social media with requests for funds totaling $25,000, without which he stated the PPA could not continue. The donations received from players in the timeframe allotted fell woefully short of that mark, leaving many guessing as to what would become of the 13-year-old lobbying group.
The guessing game is now over, with the live poker streaming platform Poker Central funding the new group’s efforts. According to the press release announcing the changes, additional funds will likely come from other poker industry contributors including
businesses, resorts, hotels, casinos, gaming applications or platforms.
New Man in Charge
At the helm of Poker Alliance will be Mark Brenner, a government relations executive and business developer. Muny and former PPA President John Pappas, who led the group for many years during arguably the roughest times in online poker history, will both serve in an advisory capacity – at least for a little while.
The changes come at a time of renewed hope for online poker legislation in the US following the Supreme Court’s decision last month that allows individual states to roll out sports betting regimes. Many industry experts are of the mind that online poker and gambling will soon follow suit in states that forge ahead with legalized sports wagering, with some states perhaps packaging all such gambling offerings together in one fell swoop.
As gaming culture and the laws around it have shifted, so too has our focus,
We will expand the PPA’s incredible effort by strategically advocating for our members.
That strategy will likely rely heavily on the recent repeal of PASPA and include lobbying for poker in states that may be leaning toward sports betting.
Out With the Old
Frequent complaints from players about the PPA centered around its efforts on behalf of its benefactors – and not the players that it so boldly claimed to represent. The PPA’s ongoing mantra included being the voice for over one million poker-playing members, but many of those members as well as industry observers suspected that the puppet strings were actually being controlled by PokerStars.
That being said, the PPA was instrumental in getting funds back for players following the scandal that rocked Full Tilt and the shutdowns of UltimateBet and Absolute Poker. Also, the PPA deserves kudos for educating lawmakers with regard to the safety and fairness provided by regulated online poker and gambling.
Thus begins a new chapter in the fight for online poker in the US, a chapter that finally sees a bright light after many years of uncertainty and frustration. Americans just want to be able to play poker from the privacy of their homes and at safe and regulated poker sites. That’s not too much to ask, is it?