The PPA, also known as the Poker Players Alliance, has decided to join in an ongoing lawsuit between the state of Kentucky and online gaming juggernaut PokerStars.
The lawsuit itself seems rather mundane and pointless, as it looks to simply be a money grab. The state is using a centuries old law, a ‘sore loser’ statute to get money out of PokerStars, ostensibly on behalf of players who lost money in the “illegal gambling devices” known as online poker sites. The period covered is 2006 – 2011.
“This is a cynical big government money grab of private consumer dollars to pay for political excesses,” said John Pappas Executive Director of the PPA . “This entire lawsuit is based on a long-shunned 19th Century sore loser statute, which is about as applicable today as the anti-dueling laws still on the books. The Commonwealth has spent countless resources and time figuring out how to extort money from online poker companies when they could have spent that time creating a safe and regulated market that would have raised equal or greater amounts of money to benefit the consumers and taxpayers of the Commonwealth both now and in the future. The affected players should be the ones who collect from this suit, not the government and certainly not the attorneys.”
The PPA is joining in the current suit to ensure that any money that could eventually be forfeited by PokerStars goes to the poker players themselves and not to the state.
Pappas has strongly urged the lawmakers in Kentucky to drop the lawsuit and instead direct their time, efforts and money into creating a regulated online gambling environment within their state. This would not only satisfy the state’s need for funds but one that would provide a steady stream of income for years to come.
The PPA is over 1 million members strong and is one of the biggest online gambling advocacy groups in the nation. They have an estimated 14,000 Kentucky residents as members.
In 2008 Kentucky seized over 140 domain names, among them was PokerStars.
Kentucky received $6 million in a “Black Friday” settlement and $15 million from a now merged entity of PokerStars, Partygaming (now bwin.party).
Players have not seen any of that money.