A big day for US poker players is set to happen this week. This is because there will be a hearing based on the condition of online gaming taking place on Tuesday. The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee of Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade will hear from a number of witnesses who could play a huge role in the future of online poker.

US Poker Market

The Senior Vice President of Las Vegas Sands Andy Abboud will be called as a witness as will John Pappas, the executive director of the Poker Players Alliance. You will also find Rachel A. Volberg, a professor from the University of Massachusetts and Kurt Eggert, a law professor at Chapman University. These witnesses will be joined by Geoff Freeman, who is the CEO and the President of the American gaming Association.

It has been stated that Freeman and Pappas will be making statements in support of regulation while Volberg, Bernal and Abboud will be making statements against the regulation. There is, as of yet, no confirmation on which way Kurt Eggert will be speaking. Eggert has previously made comments that states properly regulation will be of benefit to players but warned about some of the factors that could cause players to suffer. With online poker for US players, the talk of fish and experienced players picking off inexperienced players is always something that concerns many and it seems as though Eggert is keen to introduce a ranking or rating system which would provide players with more guidance about who they are playing.

Online gaming hearing expected to be a close run thing

John Pappas has already released a statement about the hearing and he believes that it will be a very close run thing. Pappas said, “I think it will be hotly contested for sure. It looks like 3 vs. 3, maybe 2.5 vs. 3.5. This isn’t crossfire or a debate platform; it’s the opportunity to present views. Should the opportunity occur where I’m asked my thoughts on a specific statement made by the others that we disagree with, I’ll certainly weigh in.”

WebsiteOne of the big reasons that Pappas decided to act as a witness is to stand against what was likely to be said by Andy Abboud. “I think I can respond from many different angles and feel I have the experience and knowledge to respond to our strongest critics. Hopefully I’ll be able to do so in a way resonant to members of the committee. We certainly could have found a celebrity spokesperson to sit up there, but the reality is we want to have substance submitted at this hearing, not necessarily sizzle.”

Pappas is keen for the poker community, both online and offline, to come together to ensure that there is a great deal of support for online gamers. “One thing we can do that no other group testifying can is deliver actual voters in their districts telling members to support this. If the hearing comes out a wash, meaning they’re not necessarily convinced by either side presented at the hearing, then the players and grassroots will be critical in helping members of Congress decide where they stand. And we need to show any members of Congress who may have or expect to receive political support that voters back in the district disagree with his position.”

Many observers believe that the hearing will play a big part in how internet gaming is considered by the Congress in the year ahead.

With the hearing being shown live on the internet, there is a chance for poker players to follow the hearing and debate as it happens.


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