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PPA John Pappas - Submitted Testimony (02/26/2014)

PPA John Pappas - Submitted Testimony (02/26/2014)

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Chairman Harmon, President Cullerton, Minority Leader Radogno, Vice-Chairman Silverstein, Ranking Member Murphy, and distinguished members of the committee, I would like to thank you for holding this hearing and allowing me to testify. I have the great honor of serving as Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), an organization of 1.2 million American poker enthusiasts. In the state of Illinois we boast more than 35,000 Poker Players Alliance activists. These individuals, along with countless more in the state, enjoy this great game of skill in riverboat casinos, in their homes, in bars, in charitable games, and on the Internet. I am pleased to serve as a resource to help you better understand how Internet poker and Internet gaming are already being regulated effectively in the United States and throughout the world,
and why regulation of Internet gaming is the right course for this Legislature to pursue.
Chairman Harmon, President Cullerton, Minority Leader Radogno, Vice-Chairman Silverstein, Ranking Member Murphy, and distinguished members of the committee, I would like to thank you for holding this hearing and allowing me to testify. I have the great honor of serving as Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), an organization of 1.2 million American poker enthusiasts. In the state of Illinois we boast more than 35,000 Poker Players Alliance activists. These individuals, along with countless more in the state, enjoy this great game of skill in riverboat casinos, in their homes, in bars, in charitable games, and on the Internet. I am pleased to serve as a resource to help you better understand how Internet poker and Internet gaming are already being regulated effectively in the United States and throughout the world,
and why regulation of Internet gaming is the right course for this Legislature to pursue.

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Published by: pokerplayersalliance on Feb 24, 2014
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02/27/2014

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TESTIMONY OF JOHN A. PAPPAS
on behalf of
THE POKER PLAYERS ALLIANCE Illinois State Senate The Senate Executive Committee February 26, 2014
 
2 Chairman Harmon, President Cullerton, Minority Leader Radogno, Vice-Chairman Silverstein, Ranking Member Murphy, and distinguished members of the committee, I would like to thank you for holding this hearing and allowing me to testify. I have the great honor of serving as Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), an organization of 1.2 million American  poker enthusiasts. In the state of Illinois we boast more than 35,000 Poker Players Alliance activists. These individuals, along with countless more in the state, enjoy this great game of skill in riverboat casinos, in their homes, in bars, in charitable games, and on the Internet. I am  pleased to serve as a resource to help you better understand how Internet poker and Internet gaming are already being regulated effectively in the United States and throughout the world, and why regulation of Internet gaming is the right course for this Legislature to pursue. As an organization, the PPA has been at the forefront of advocating for sensible state and federal  policies that license and regulate Internet poker. It is my hope that the committee will respond by taking up legislation previously introduced by Senate President Cullerton that seeks to establish strong consumer protections and accountability for Internet gaming. The PPA stands in strong support of President Cul
lerton’s efforts and I would like to take a moment to thank the Senate
President for his leadership on this issue. Any effort to regulate Internet poker should not be viewed as an expansion of gambling in Illinois. Today, Illinois citizens have access to online poker, online casino games and online sports betting. Regulation simply would mean corralling the current unregulated marketplace and turning it into a system that is safe for consumers and accountable to regulators and our government. Any regulatory effort should mandate technologies to protect consumers from
 
3 fraud, eliminate underage access, mitigate compulsive gambling behaviors and establish funding for the treatment and prevention of problem gambling. The legislation should provide for an open and competitive market that will foster innovation and ensures that all existing gaming interests in the state have the same rights to apply for a license as other entities. It is also vitally important for Illinois to establish a system that allows for it to share players with other regulated  jurisdictions. In order for Illinois to remain competitive, and quite frankly relevant, in gaming, the state must embrace the Internet opportunities. Now is the time for Illinois to act. Within the past year three states
 – 
 Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey -- have authorized and are regulating Internet poker and Internet gaming. Nearly a dozen more states are currently considering legislation. Today, Illinois and a handful of other states offer their lotteries over the Internet. And of course, for many years, Illinois horse bettors have been able to wager through the Internet. Establishing a regulatory regime for online poker and online gaming in Illinois will result in an open and competitive licensed market which would be attractive to both local riverboat licensees and worldwide operators. It would also minimize unlicensed activities; generate significant tax revenue for the state government create new high tech jobs. A recent economic study conducted  by H2Gambling Capital
1
 has estimated
that an Illinois regulatory regime, which includes shared liquidity of players, market size will amount to approximately $197 million Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) in the first year from online poker alone and $508 million GGR from the entire online gaming market. After two years these amounts would grow to $262 million GGR and $708 million GGR respectively.
1
 H2 Gambling Capital,
US Regulated Interactive Gaming and Betting Models,
October 31, 2013

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