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Poker Central Buys PPA – Revamps Organization as Poker Alliance

The Poker Player’s Alliance is the oldest poker advocacy group in the United States, but a lack of results and a tendency to side with corporate entities in poker over supporting the goals of its member has led to a dramatic reduction in funds and threatened to shut down the organization.

On Wednesday, news broke that the Poker Player’s Alliance has been rebranded as Poker Alliance and now has new leadership. It appears that Poker Central has taken over the organization and the new leadership will be focusing on both online poker and iGaming advocacy.

PPA Failure to Raise Funds Led to Change

As many of you may already know, the Poker Player’s Alliance held a fundraiser earlier this year in an attempt to keep their doors open. They needed to raise $25,000 by the end of March but was only able to raise $5,000.

The organization failed to raise the needed funds because the general poker public is tired of the lack of results from the agency. In the past, they have sided more with corporate interests such as those of PokerStars over focusing more on helping online poker become regulated in certain states. Also, a lack of any real apparent advocacy seems to be the theme. Members were apparently tired of “grassroots support” that mainly consisted of email campaigns.

Players Dropped In Structure Change

The announcement Wednesday revealed that the PPA is now known simply as Poker Alliance with Mark Brenner of Poker Central now heading the organization. Poker Central now owns the Poker Alliance having bought out the company and the buyout also represents a change in the focus of the organization.

According to the Press Release issued by the Poker Alliance, “The revamped association will prioritize advocating for consumer protection and states’ rights in the context of poker and internet gaming.” New Poker Alliance President Brenner commented, stating, “As gaming culture and the laws around it have shifted, so too has our focus. Poker players deserve to be able to play poker with confidence and safety, and we will expand the PPA’s incredible effort by strategically advocating for our members.”

What does this mean? This means that the Poker Alliance will focus on online poker, but may also turn their attention to states looking to regulate sports betting and other forms of iGaming. The recent Supreme Court ruling that invalidated the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) has resulted in several states looking into laws regarding sports betting and general iGaming.

It is assumed that online poker will become a part of some of these bills and the new Poker Alliance will have a hand on helping to usher in a new era of not just online poker regulation but general iGaming regulation.

You probably notice that the “Players” part of the title was dropped and this was not accidental. Haley Hintze of reached out to former PPA Executive Director Rich Muny about the change and he told her, “One benefit to this new structure is that we no longer have a financial reliance on membership. We continue to serve members and only ask for their grassroots support.”

Move Necessary to Restore Credibility to Organization

I won’t lie. When I first heard that the organization was being “revamped,” I was ready to slam the move. That was until I heard that they were bought out by Poker Central. Something that I said a while back was that someone in the poker industry needed to step up and help the PPA if they wished to continue. A measly $25k didn’t seem much if poker players and pros wanted to really focus on poker lobbying efforts.

What I like about this move is that not only did someone step up, but instead they said: “Hey, let us take over.” What we need to see at this point is an organization that makes legitimate efforts to lobby for online poker instead of vague email campaigns and the occasional testimony at hearings.

We also need to see a company that isn’t subject to the whims of online poker companies and are willing to fight for poker as a game rather than as a corporate entity. If players see these changes, then the new Poker Alliance will get all the support in the world. Otherwise, expect to see people leave the ranks of the new company faster than subscribers leave PokerGo following the World Series of Poker.

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