PPA Responds To Minnesota's attack on Internet Gambling
April 30, 2022

After a recent press release from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division (AGED), made it known that they had served 11 national and regional Internet service providers with instructions to prohibit access to nearly 200 online gambling websites, including many online poker sites, the Poker Players Alliance released a statement of their own vowing to fight this sudden and unexpected attack on Minnesotans' personal freedoms.

Not just a regional issue, the AGED is justifying the forced blockage by utilizing an obscure federal statue from 1961(U.S. Code, Title 18, Section 1084) which if successful, could be used by many other states as well to stop online poker players from playing the game they love.

Portions of each press release reprinted below; to read the complete statements visit the Poker Players Alliance (, poker's one million+ member strong grassroots advocacy group:

ST. PAUL. Minn. -- The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division (AGED) today announced that it has served written notice to 11 national and regional telephone and Internet service providers (ISPs) instructing them to prohibit access of all Minnesota-based computers to nearly 200 online gambling websites. Online gambling is illegal in all U.S. states.

"We are putting site operators and Minnesota online gamblers on notice and in advance," says John Willems, director of AGED. "Disruption of these sites' cash flow will negatively impact their business models. State residents with online escrow accounts should be aware that access to their accounts may be jeopardized and their funds in peril."

Response from the notified ISPs is expected within two to three weeks, at which time issues of non-compliance will be referred to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Acknowledging the effort as an initial sample, Willems anticipates the program expanding to address thousands of sites, depending on compliance. He notes that the required technology to restrict geographic access to particular sites is a relatively straightforward procedure on the part of service providers.

"In Minnesota, and for Minnesotans, the primary issues are legality, state self-governance and accountability," says Willems. "In broader context, the long-running debate on online gambling continues to raise significant issues, including absence of policy and regulation, individual rights, societal impact, international fair-trade practices, and funding for criminal and terrorist organizations."

-Excerpts from 4/29/09 News Release, "MINNESOTA NOTIFIES TELECOMS TO PROHIBIT ACCESS BETWEEN RESIDENTS AND GAMBLING SITES ?U.S. Code Cited First Time in Effort to Halt Illegal Online Gambling"


"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?

"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 its forms - is protected in the state of Minnesota."

-Excerpts from 4/29/09 News Release, "Poker Players Alliance Statement on Minnesota Department of Public Safety's Announcement to Censor Online Poker."

Story by Mark Anderson

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