This year has proven to be a truly monumental year for the Poker Players Alliance thanks to a number of events, both good and bad, that have contributed to the organization’s present situation. First, earlier this year, the lobbyist group’s executive director John Pappas stepped down as the president of the alliance, a position he had held for over a decade. Pappas was promptly replaced by Rich Muny, who as it turns out, inherited a lot of problems.
Most significant was a warning by Muny that indicated that the Poker Players Alliance was in dire need of at least $25,000 in donations if it was going to keep operating. His please, unfortunately, bore no fruit and it was then that it became apparent that the organization was very close to permanent closure.
Just when it seemed like everything could not get any better, last Wednesday, the Poker Players Alliance received a lifeline after online poker broadcasting operator, Poker Central, announced that it would be taking over the organization. Also, as stipulated by the terms of the arrangement, the Poker Players Alliance was immediately rebranded to Poker Alliance. This fresh start gives the lobbying group a great opportunity to move forward with its activities that had been impeded by dwindling financial donations from its backers including PokerStars, one of the Poker Players Alliance’s earliest corporate backers – PokerStars opted out late last year.
“Poker Alliance will be a dedicated voice for the millions of Americans who support expanding the sporting world of poker, in particular, the players seeking to enjoy safe, well-regulated, and fair games in myriad locations and formats. The revamped association will prioritize advocating for consumer protection and states’ rights in the context of poker and internet gaming,” reads the press release issued by the group.
The Poker Alliance will seek to build on the efforts by the Poker Players Alliance to serve the poker world by working alongside journalists, lawmakers, and policymakers in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for the poker community. The rebranded organization has a new corporate structure that was lacking in its predecessor’s structure – this corporate structure will be responsible for providing financial and operational support.
Leading the Poker Alliance will be longtime business development and government relations executive, Mark Brenner.
“As gaming culture and the laws around it have shifted, so too has our focus,” said Brenner during the press release. “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.”
The organization’s former presidents will be retained as members of the advisory board for at least two years. This makes for a pretty robust team and might eventually make the organization’s efforts towards achieving its goals much easier.