Poker Alliance Continues Establishing Footprint

Updated: July 24th, 2018 by Haley Hintze

The newly reformed Poker Alliance, now owned by Poker Central and committed, per the lobbying group’s proclamation, to the interests of US-based online poker, continues to establish its operating foundation.

For those of you that missed the news amid the WSOP and other live-poker festivals that dominated the poker-news scene last month, the old Poker Players Alliance (PPA) is no more. Bereft of funds and with an uncertain philosophical future, the PPA folded up its tent and sold its assets — largely its mailing list and its history in lobbying for certain poker-related interests — over to Poker Central, which operates PokerGO, among other business fronts.

The PPA’s old home at now automatically redirects over to the PA’s new digs at And as for a new mission statement and the like, the new PA has been a tad slow out of the gate, but did offer this release a short while back:

The largest poker advocacy organization in the United States today unveiled a new brand identity and leadership: Poker Alliance, with longtime business development and government relations executive Mark Brenner at the helm. 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.

As online gaming has become more widespread and popular, and following the recent Supreme Court decision invalidating the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), the sport of poker is ready for a new kind of activism. Poker Alliance will build on the PPA’s over thirteen-year history of working effectively with policy makers, journalists, and industry partners to achieve the best outcomes for players and growth of the game itself. A Poker Alliance advisory board, with the involvement of former Poker Players Alliance presidents Rich Muny and John Pappas, will be announced in due course.

“As gaming culture and the laws around it have shifted, so too has our focus,” said Mark Brenner, president of Poker Alliance. “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.”

“I’m very optimistic about Poker Alliance’s potential to bring new innovations and a different skill set to the fight for poker, serving its membership and consumers in general,” said former PPA president Rich Muny. “Along with my fellow advisors to the new leadership, I look forward to advocating for the great game of poker as part of Poker Alliance.”

Poker Alliance will focus on online poker. As a backdrop to today’s announcement, internet poker and gaming are authorized in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, with Pennsylvania expected to launch its regulated iGaming market later this year. With the recent Supreme Court decision striking down the PASPA, new sports betting initiatives and legislation are progressing quickly nationwide.

About Poker Alliance

Poker Alliance is dedicated to advancing the sport of poker on behalf of the poker playing community in the United States and abroad. As advocates of safe, legal and fair play, the Poker Alliance represents the needs of poker players to legislators, courts, policy makers, and the media to ensure legal and healthy competition. Located in Washington, DC, the association also works with casinos, poker companies, and other partners to promote safe and well-regulated poker experiences.

The newly reformed group has also offered up a brief, four-item FAQ:

What is Poker Alliance?

Poker Alliance (formerly the Poker Players Alliance – PPA) is the largest and most influential advocacy organization focused on advancing the interests of the poker playing community. As advocates of safe, legal and fair play, the Poker Alliance represents the needs of poker players to legislators, courts, policy makers, and the media to ensure legal and healthy competition.

Going forward, Poker Alliance will be the voice that unifies millions of players in America with partners in the corporate sector and online gaming industry that are in favor of expanding the sporting world of poker. Poker Alliance will also advocate for consumer protection and states’ rights in the context of poker and internet gaming.

Poker Alliance has strong relationships with and support from partners across the online gaming industry.

How is Poker Alliance different from the PPA?

Poker Alliance has a new corporate structure that provides financial and operational support, so we will not rely financially on our membership. Visit this site periodically for partnership updates and announcements.

Who leads Poker Alliance?

Mark Brenner is the president of Poker Alliance. Former PPA leadership will serve as advisors to the organization. The formal announcement of Poker Alliance’s Advisory Board is still to come – check this site for updates.

How is Poker Alliance funded?

Funding will come from industry participants, including Poker Central, as one of many businesses, resorts, hotels, casinos, gaming applications or platforms, etc.

That Advisory Board, promised upon the Poker Alliance’s reformation last month, has yet to be announced; as noted, it’s been something of a slow start from the gate for the new lobbying group.

Beyond that, and beyond the naming of Mark Brenner as the group’s new president, what else do we know? Well, not a whole lot. The new Poker Alliance won’t seek donations from the poker-playing public — hence the dropping of “Players” from the group’s moniker. Instead, it will be corporate funded. Front and center in that will be Poker Central, whose owners include Cary Katz (in a central-ish role), Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari, and others.

As for the new group’s claim of a prioritized focus on online poker, that’s well and good, but we’re still waiting for the first visible steps in that direction. The ongoing fights over online gambling legislation in Michigan and New York might be a good first and second battleground for the group, but until and unless it happens, we can’t do other than the old wait-and-see.

So, we’ll welcome the new Poker Alliance to the scene, as we bid adieu to the old PPA. Here’s hoping the PA can pick the right battles to fight and not make the many mistakes that the old PPA committed, mistakes which eventually cost that group much of its goodwill in the poker community. Time will, indeed, tell.

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