Washington, DC (April 29, 2009) – Matt Werden, the Minnesota state director of the Poker Players Alliance, the leading poker grassroots advocacy group with more than one million members nationwide, and more than 21,000 in Minnesota, today issued the following statement following the press announcement by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety that they are attempting to block citizens from accessing any commercial gambling sites, including online poker sites.
“This isn’t simply a heavy-handed tactic by the government; this is a clear misrepresentation of federal law, as well as Minnesota law, used in an unprecedented way to try and censor the Internet. I don’t know what U.S. Code they’re reading, but it is not illegal to play this great American pastime online, and we’re calling their bluff.
“The fact is, online poker is not illegal, it’s not criminal, and it cannot be forcibly blocked by a state authority looking to score some political points. What are they going to do when this fails, ban poker books and burn our players at the stake?
“We see headlines like this coming from communist China but never expect that it could happen here in Minnesota. The good news is groups like the Poker Players Alliance are here to protect the rights of poker players and set the record straight when government reaches too far. But this is more than just protecting poker – this is about keeping the internet free of censorship and ensuring that law abiding citizens can enjoy a game of Texas Hold ‘Em in the comfort of their own home, whether it’s online or with a group of friends.
“The PPA will take any action necessary to make sure our members and the general public are aware of these oppressive and illegal actions, and to make sure the game of poker – in all it’s forms – is protected in the state of Minnesota.”