Online poker proponent groups such as the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) have come out against Republican presidential hopeful Matt Romney for his blatant anti online poker regulation stance. After Romney gave his opinion about the legalization and regulation of online poker to a Las Vegas publication earlier this week, the PPA issued a statement, stating the Republican seems to be misinformed and uneducated about the tough standards that will be put in place if and when online poker is legalized on a federal level in the United States.
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Romney said that he was opposed to online poker because “of the social costs and people’s addictive gambling habits”.
The PPA was quick to issue its statement following Romney’s comments, and the Executive Director of the one million member strong group, John Pappas said: “Governor Romney’s statement seems to be based on a misperception of regulation and the status quo. We hope to educate him that regulation will mean strong enforcement and meaningful consumer protections, while doing nothing will only exacerbate any perceived problems he has with gaming.”
Romney is ahead of his fellow Republicans in the race as presidential contendor, and has a good chance of beating Newt Gingerich and Rick Santorum. As such, the PPA and other online poker proponents believe that efforts should be made to make Romney aware of the true state of online poker in the United States and the exact number of Americans who play their favorite game online, despite archaic laws such as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.
“I believe Romney has it wrong here,” said PPA Executive VP, Rich Muny. “Licensing and regulation will ensure that age verification measures are implemented, consumer protections are provided, and protections for those with excessive gaming habits are mandated. Current law does not provide any protections for anyone.”