WASHINGTON, March 5 (UPI) -- A new group focused on overturning the federal ban on Internet gambling is enlisting the help of former Sen. Alphonse D'Amato, R-N.Y., a skilled poker player.
Known as the Poker Players Alliance, the group is gambling D'Amato can convince his former Washington colleagues to scrap the ban or at least exempt poker from its provisions, The New York Times reports.
At issue is a law signed by President Bush last October making it a crime to use credit cards or online payment systems for poker and other casino games played on the Internet.
"John Smith, maybe he doesn't have the financial means or the ability" to travel to a casino, D'Amato says. "The poor guy at home can't bet $50 because we pass this law."
D'Amato just inked a lobbying deal with the nascent group, which says it has already enlisted more than 160,000 members.