The White House website asks citizens to create petitions on important issues facing the United States - with the promise that if the petition receives enough support, the White House staff will review it and ensure that it is sent to the appropriate policy experts and a response will be issued.
Sadly, with as much news and information (a good share of it is over inflated and factually incorrect) flooding all forms of media lately, the President has chosen to ignore the online poker issue and the havoc the Department of Justice's complaint (filed on April 15th, 2011) caused in the life of US poker players that lost their ability to make a living and cannot even withdraw their funds that are still held by several online poker sites.
Poker players have been working together to get the attention of President Obama. Drew Lesofski, director of grassroots and external affairs for the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), posted a petition on Friday. By Monday the petition reached the initial threshold of 5,000 signatures that the White House is giving petitions 30 days to reach.
The Petition asks the Obama administration to protect consumers, create jobs, and generate revenue by licensing and regulating only poker. Although the petition has reached the required number of signatures, this is no time to sleep - even though President Obama appears to be sleeping through the online poker revolution, the people cannot.
"What we really want is to show the administration that a lot of people care about this liberty," said Rich Muny, PPA vice president of player relations, who mobilized PPA members to sign the petition. "We want it to always be in their heads that poker is in the top-tier of Americans' interests. To me, that is more important than what response we get from the administration."
Ask your family members and friends to sign the petition to keep it at the top of the review list. On Wednesday morning there were over 6,500 signatures on the petition but the White House warns that if a lot of petitions reach 5,000 signatures, the required number of signatures may be raised so the workload for the White House is manageable. Signing the petition is easy and only takes a moment. Go to Whitehouse.gov and sign up for an account if you don't have one already. Last names are not shown on the signature page; only first names and last initials are visible. And all that's required to register is your full name and an email address.
The Poker Petition was running in 21st place of 86 petitions made; Legalizing and regulating marijuana is leading with over 40,000 signatures. Six of the 20 petitions in front of the poker petition are repetitive marijuana petitions. It's important to NOT create a new poker petition since it would conflict with the placement of the one created by Drew Lesofski.
Please email everyone you know, post on Facebook, and tweet them to go sign the petition. Use this url in your twitter message: http://goo.gl/Vi1qc and put the word out as fast as possible. Poker Players in the US need to unite to make sure President Obama has to address our issues and make changes.
"It's very important for everyone in the community to participate," Muny said. "We want to stay above any bar they choose. It's very gratifying that the White House thought a good proposal would take 30 days to get 5,000 votes and we did it in three days. That shows the strength of our community. More votes will increase our priority in getting an answer. Every additional signature is an important one."
Petitions are up for signatures until October 22nd, and then the administration will issue an official response on the White House website within a few weeks. It is not known if the responses to the petition will come from a specific person, the President himself, or under the label of the Obama administration.
Sign up now!