It's no surprise that social conservative's oppose gambling. Likewise, it should be no surprise that the Poker Player's Alliance (PPA) does not have a member-base of what you might call your typical social conservatives. In fact, there's probably hardly any social conservatives making up the one million plus online poker players who have joined the PPA since its humble beginnings just a few years ago.
That said, it was an odd site to find the PPA at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington DC. One of the largest organized assemblies of American conservatives, the CPAC primarily serves as a pep rally for conservatives - cheered on by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and other outspoken, devoutly Christian Americans. No pun intended, but it's a safe bet to say that gambling is definitely not on their political agenda - unless, of course, we're talking about banishment rather than regulation.
Yet, considering the lobbying power of the PPA, it made sense for them to have a presence at the CPAC. The PPA's State Director for Kentucky, Rich Muny, said the sheer size of the PPA alone was reason enough to be in attendance at the CPAC. Muny also cited the two recent court cases having gone down in favor of poker players, thus helping to strengthen the PPA's chief argument that poker is a game of skill and not subject to the degrees of chance that casino style games are known for.
Indeed, this was a good opportunity for the PPA to show how much progress they've made in helping the good name of poker. According to Muny, even those conservatives in attendance who were strictly against the idea of gambling - no matter the form - were willing to acknowledge the difference between games of skill, in which the Casino has no interest in players losing, and games of chance, in which the casino makes its money from players losing against to the House Edge.
Critics of the PPA, say the group is doing nothing to help further the cause of online gambling regulation by attempting to single out the game of poker from other traditional casino style games. Furthermore, considering the fact that most conservatives are against all forms of wagering, including the game of poker, the multi-million dollar lobbying efforts of the PPA could turn out to be the worst wager of all.