This story is a couple days late and some $18,985 short. It wasn’t filed immediately after the clock struck midnight, when Saturday night turned to Sunday morning and March turned to April with the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) having fallen well short of raising the $25,000 it said it needed to continue fighting for poker.
Instead, this reporter waited for some word from the organization. A press release indicating what’s next. Something saying goodbye.
But apparently that’s not what you do when you tell the public the internet gaming industry has cut your funding and you’ll be forced to stop your work as the country’s only true poker advocacy group unless they come up with $25,000 to keep you afloat over the next couple of months.
Poker Players Alliance funding counter gone
What the PPA did do was quickly remove the embarrassing fundraising counter on its site showing it had only pulled in $6,015 in donations over that time. Then it linked out to an Online Poker Report story about the latest setback for online poker legislation in New York. Apparently, lawmakers in the state have left online poker out of the budget yet again, the same way the poker community has with donations for the PPA.
This despite the PPA’s exhaustive efforts fighting for online poker in the Empire State. Which consisted of the usual series of “contact your local representatives” Tweets and more links to stories from organizations that cover the US online poker legislative landscape.
To be fair, the PPA had very little do with what happened in New York. However, that in and of itself may be the problem.
Since the Department of Justice effectively shut down online poker in the US in 2011, the PPA has had very little do with what has happened in any state considering legislation to bring it back. Not to mention the four that actually have.
In fact, Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and now Pennsylvania, probably would have passed online poker legislation without the PPA. Despite how significant an impact the organization seems to always say it has had been advocating for online poker across the country.
A voice for the poker community?
Throughout these lean years for online poker in the US, the PPA has been here. They’ve been pushing for online poker, showing up at legislative hearings, telling state lawmakers people want to play. There’s no doubt the organization has maintained its position as a voice for the poker community. But whether anybody has been listening to that voice is the real question.
The truth is, four states passing bills legalizing online poker isn’t enough to say any organization has had a significant impact on the online poker landscape across this country. Especially considering those states may have done so even without their help.
Apparently, state lawmakers don’t see votes coming from either side of the issue. Certainly not enough of them to be swayed by whatever the PPA has to say. They either see the potential for increased tax revenues or they don’t. They address or ignore the issue accordingly and the PPA’s voice is just background noise along the way.
The future of the PPA
So what’s next for the PPA?
There’s no reference to the self-imposed March 31 deadline on its donation page. It does say the PPA cannot continue fighting for poker if it does not meet its fundraising goal of $25,000. But since people can presumably still donate, it looks like the pledge drive will continue.
It’s just a question of how long it will continue for. Particularly with the poker community having clearly joined state lawmakers around the country by tuning the organization out.
Its funding dried up. Its leader stepped down. The public all but ignored its cries for help. It’s probably time for the PPA to say goodbye. Unless, it can somehow take that $6,015 and use it to prove it can actually do something real and verifiable for poker in this country.