One of those interesting online gambler political initiatives took place over the last few days when the Poker Players Alliance suggested to US fans that the Republican Party Platform Committee might be a good place to make their views known (see previous InfoPowa report). The Platform Committee is responsible for presenting the party's platform or manifesto, and runs a website where suggestions and comments on what should or should not be on the platform can be posted.
By all accounts, the call was well answered, with many players giving their opinion regarding a longstanding, two sentence item on the platform expressing the GOP's opposition to Internet gambling.
When the draft for the latest platform came out this week, it looked like the action had produced a positive effect, because the offending sentences had been removed.
“This is a small victory in our determined effort to educate both sides of the aisle that there is a true constituency in America that values its Internet freedoms,” John Pappas, the Alliance’s executive director, said of the draft platform.
Senator Richard Burr, a North Carolinian who is co-chairman of the 112 member platform committee, said the move was made to widen the party's appeal to more voters.
However, Burr cautioned against too much optimism, pointing to a possible backlash from the conservative right of the party who had launched a call for the opposition to Internet gambling clause to be re-instituted.
In the end Senator Burr's prescient caution proved true - the clause was re-instated, and reads: “Millions of Americans suffer from problem or pathological gambling that can destroy families. We support legislation prohibiting gambling over the Internet or in student athletics by student athletes who are participating in competitive sports.”
The opponents of online gambling had truimphed, with Kendal Unrah of Colorado, who sponsored the amendment putting the clause back in, commenting: “Internet gambling represents the most invasive and addictive form of gambling in our history.”
With the Republicans heading into their National Convention early September, the platform has been stripped down by almost 50 percent in order to streamline the GOP message. The committee meets again Wednesday to write the final document for the convention to adopt on its first day of deliberations.