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Major Police Lobbying Group Backs Online Poker Regulation

Online poker has received endorsements from thousands of people and groups over the past year, and now one of the biggest groups representing police officers in the country, the Fraternal Order of Police, has sent a letter endorsing regulation of online gambling.

Over the past decade, it has been the foreign online poker sites that have dominated the online gambling landscape in the US. Last year, the US Department of Justice started cracking down on these websites when the DoJ indicted Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, and PokerStars.

The indictment was the first of its kind under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. It also paved the way for millions of Americans to be left without a safe place to play online poker. That has left the poker community calling their representatives to try and get the industry regulated in the US.

Last week, the Fraternal Order of Police joined the groups endorsing regulation. The group's main concern was regulation of online gambling in order to be able to go after foreign companies operating outside the bounds of those regulations, but poker players saw the endorsement as a key step towards regulation.

"We need more groups to get behind this movement," said Brandon Lazzaro, an online poker player from California that lost his job when the indictments against PokerStars came down last year. "The reason for backing the cause doesn't matter at this point, the key is just to get as many people behind the movement as possible. We need regulation so me and the thousands of other poker players can get back to work."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been stepping up efforts in the past year to have online poker regulated. His home state of Nevada has already passed laws permitting online gambling, and Nevada regulators have started taking applications for online poker licenses.

The FoP is the largest police union in the country, and its endorsement last week of regulation to the online gambling industry has been met with open arms by the Poker Players Alliance and other organizations seeking to have the US' outdated laws changed.

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