Poker Players Alliance Exec John Pappas Steps Down, Hands Baton to Rich Muny3 years ago
After more than a decade of serving as executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, John Pappas will exit that position at the end of this month, turning over leadership duties to the current VP, Rich Muny.
The changing of the guard comes at a time when the grassroots organization has seen its funding reduced considerably. That was made clear in a press release announcing Pappas' departure, as well as from numerous requests for donations that the PPA has been asking from the poker-playing public in recent months.
Although the PPA touts its membership as being over 1 million strong, it is believed that the bulk of its funding has always come from online poker operators who have an interest in preferable legislative outcomes in the US. With legislation in the current state-by-state model progressing at a snail's pace, funding from gaming interests has likely all but dried up.
“There has never been greater momentum than right now for the advancement of sensible internet gaming policy in the US," Pappas stated in the press release.
That is certainly debatable, considering that only four states have passed online gambling legislation, with Pennsylvania set to launch in the near future. Momentum may have been greater in 2013 when the first three states launched their regimes, but several years went by without any movement.
There are those who believe that resources would have been better spent pushing for federal online poker legislation in which all states can participate, rather than the slow-moving process undertaken on the state level. A difficult task to be sure, and perhaps even more time-consuming and costly than the current situation.
A Job Well Done
Nevertheless, with Pappas at the helm, the PPA was instrumental in players receiving refunds from the shuttered poker sites following the Black Friday debacle. As an experienced lobbyist, Pappas also educated lawmakers on the merits and nuances of online gambling by testifying at hearings several times during his tenure.
“John is a tremendous leader and a true professional," said PPA board member Linda Johnson. "Under his guidance, PPA has emerged as a policy advocacy and grassroots powerhouse in Washington D.C. and in state capitals across the country."
Pappas will remain as a PPA strategic advisor and occupy a seat on the board of directors. Rich Muny, an engineer by trade, will transition from VP to president, and stated that he is "honored that the PPA Board of Directors and the poker community have entrusted me with this role."
A New Revenue Stream?
Another change being considered by the PPA is whether or not to expand its advocacy efforts with regard to sports betting regulation. The majority of poker players are likely sports bettors as well, and taking up the cause may go hand-in-hand with online poker regulation efforts.
As of now, the PPA is merely gauging interest in the possibility among its members. Those who would like more information will find a webpage dedicated to possible expansion into sports betting at the PPA website.
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