I saw another closed thread on this subject from last year that spiraled out of control, hopefully this won't happen here.
Reading the previous thread, and from discussion with Rich "TheEngineer" Muny, it's clear that the PPA is not willing to take the lead on a ballot initiative. It's not for me to tell them what is the best approach, but I do feel that regardless of legislation at the Federal level, without a change to the law in the State of WA, we will be left out in the cold. There is no indication that the State Legislature has any interest in changing the law themselves, so it is up to us to do it.
I am personally working on an Initiative to the Voters of Washington State that would allow for licensed and regulated online poker for players in this state. I have been in touch with Rich, and with Steve McNulty of the PPA, and they are aware of my intentions and are somewhat supportive.
It is my intent to file the initiative in the first week of January, at the earliest date to file for the 2013 election year. The benefit of doing it in an off year, in my opinion, is that while turn out is lower than in even years, if we can get our supporters to the polls, it makes getting the required 60% majority vote needed for a gambling related issue to pass.
Filing the initiative is the easy part. Once we have a ballot title, we have six months to get around 300,000 signatures. I will need a small army to accomplish this, and I am looking to the poker community for help. I also feel that once the PPA sees this is a serious effort, the will be even more supportive. It would hardly look good for them to dismiss an effort by poker players to change the law themselves, when they are billing themselves as representatives of the players now would it?
I have appealed to the PPA for help with getting the word out, getting contact information for members in WA State, and while they have offered words of support, I definitely need more substantive help.
We need volunteers. I have drafted a proposal, but it needs some work. Some input from players, some legal input would be great as well. I also need contact info from players willing to help with signature gathering.
If we can qualify this for the ballot, then we can mount our campaign. Then will be the time to implore the PPA to jump on board and help us get the word out to the voters.
This is a poker only Initiative, and it will stay that way. So lend your support, visit the Washington Online Poker Initiative on Facebook, like the page and tell your friends, give your input, leave a message of support and I will get with you about how you can help.
It's up to us, and we can do it!
Links to initiatives: