For the very first time in its history, the Poker Players Alliance has sent out a desperate call for financial donations through an email that was issued by Rich Muny, the PPA’s new president, to their members and email followers. Muny takes over from John Pappas, the Poker Players Alliance’s outgoing president who is expected to officially leave office and depart the organization at the end of this month.
It might have taken a while for the organization to come clean but Muny finally admitted to the constituency that the Poker Players Alliance was not doing well citing the decline in donations from online poker sites as well as from other internet gaming advocates.
“Over the past several months, we have been adjusting to a significant reduction in donations from the internet gaming industry, this despite our successes in Pennsylvania just a few months ago,” Muny wrote in the e-mail. “We now find ourselves possibly shutting down right before what could be the biggest year for iPoker and iGaming yet.”
Well, how bad could the situation be for what is considered to be a million-member strong organization? Even though it seemingly had the support of the major players in the live and online poker world, Muny clarified that this was far from the truth. He added that the organization could not continue fighting for poker if they do not meet the organization’s $25,000 fundraising goal by the end of March.
The proceedings of the donation will be exclusively set aside for core operational expenses of PPA’s communication and advocacy – because communication tools are vital to its mission.
Since it was founded back in the early noughties, the PPA has never charged membership fees and instead depended on donations from its members and from people or organizations that believed in its goals – which was to defend the rights of poker players and the ability to play poker both online and offline. This way, the group was able to raise a significant portion of its base funding through the players, avid followers of the game and advocates in several areas.
Where It All Begun
After the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act was passed in 2006, many poker players lost faith and confidence in the PPA despite the organization’s efforts that staved off the passage of the act. This is where its woes began. Over the past seven years, the PPA became unable to draw the attention to those “screw jobs” from online sites which were also shutting down by the minute. The organization then resorted to concentrating their efforts on low-cost advocacy through a campaign called “Daily Action Plan” using Facebook and Twitter. Regardless of the bad and quite good implications of these efforts, there was a huge decline in the money it received from online sites. As recently as four years ago, the organization raked in about $5 million every year from donations and member’s contributions but this has dwindled down to a little over $2 million a year which reportedly played a part in Pappas’ departure.
It is too early to tell if the PPA’s fundraising effort will pay off as expected but the organization still has a contingent that still has faith in what it stands for. 2018 is already a pivotal year for online poker and other forms of online gambling and thus, depending on how related factors play out, it remains to be seen where the tides will lead the PPA to.