Fair Play USA Pushes for Safe, Regulated Online Poker
By Ian Hiaring, Rakeback.com Poker News Staff Writer
The challenge of legalizing and regulating online poker in the United States is a tough one, and it certainly feels like little to no progress is being made. Sure, we know it’s not going to be an overnight process, but we’d all like to see the process move at a little quicker pace.
Anyone that may care about the issue is probably already familiar with the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), but a there’s a new grassroots campaign with similar goals. Fair Play USA was created this summer and shares many of the same goals as the PPA.
According to their web site, Fair Play USA has a three member Board of Advisors which includes WSOP Main Event winner Greg Raymer, former head of Homeland Security Tom Ridge and Parry Aftab, a lawyer specializing in cybersafety and privacy.
Principles of Fair Play USA
Here are ten principles that are at the core of what Fair Play USA stands for.
- Strengthen the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 to unambiguously eliminate illegal Internet gambling.
- 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.
- Give states and tribes the authority to accept or prohibit online poker and mandate sophisticated tools to block consumers in those prohibited areas.
- Establish a strict gaming regulatory framework for licensing and enforcement of online poker in jurisdictions that want to be part of a federal network.
- 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.
- 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.
- Require that technologies currently used successfully in other age-sensitive industries be used to combat underage poker play.
- Mandate technological safeguards to ensure that games are fair and honest, offering the same strict regulatory scrutiny as commercial poker rooms.
- Allow states to capture much-needed revenue from a licensed, regulated, federal poker network.
- Mandate that players’ deposits be maintained in escrow accounts and available on demand.
Statement from the PPA
John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance issued a statement that welcomed Fair Play USA to the fight.
“On behalf of our 1.2 million members nationwide, the PPA is pleased to see another group dedicated to restoring and protecting Americans’ freedom to play Internet poker. The PPA has been at the leading edge of the fight for U.S. regulation for nearly six years and we welcome the addition of another voice – and one that represents a new constituency – to the chorus of supporters for a sensible federal policy towards online poker.”