“Get ready.”That was part of the message John Pappas relayed to poker players in a new video posted on the Poker Players Alliance website. Pappas, the executive director of the PPA , told members that they could expect to see Rep. Barney Frank’s poker bill up for a committee vote as early as next month.“We expect within a few short weeks, most likely in the month of February, there will be a committee vote on this legislation,” said Pappas. “This is a very critical and important for vote for the Poker Players Alliance, as well as the poker community, and we need everyone to step up and make sure that their voices are heard.”Pappas is encouraging poker players to contact their members of Congress and let them know their stance on the Frank’s bill, which would explicitly legalize and regulate online poker in the U.S.“This will be the first time — ever — that there will be a vote on licensing and regulation of Internet poker and Internet gaming in general,” said Pappas. “We need bi-partisan support, and we need your help in achieving that. Over the next few weeks, you’ll be hearing more from us about things you can to do to alert your members of Congress about this important committee vote and why they should vote in support of HR 2267, so get ready to advocate for poker.”Rep. Frank, the chair of House Financial Services Committee and one the Democrats’ most powerful members of Congress, introduced H.R. 2267 (“The Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2009”) in May of last year.H.R. 2267 would explicitly legalize and regulate the online poker industry, and could lead to more players entering the game with easier deposit methods and more lenient advertising capabilities for the sites. Gambling operators would be required to obtain U.S. licenses and pay both federal and local taxes. Individual states would be able to opt out of Frank’s bill. The Joint Committee on Taxation has projected that the U.S. Treasury could raise $42 billion over the next 10 years if online gaming was regulated.Frank held a hearing on the bill last month , although a committee vote was not taken. But now according to Pappas, that committee vote could happen as soon as next month.The House Financial Services Committee includes about 70 members of Congress.To view Pappas’ video and to find out what you can do to fight for online poker rights, visit theppa.org .
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