Patrick Dorinson is switching allegiances to the Poker Voters of America. Melanie Brenner, president of the Poker Voters of America (PVoA) made the announcement today that the former communications chief for the California Online Poker Association (COPA) would be joining the PVoA as the group’s executive director.
“Poker Voters is always looking for expertise to help make competitive and sustainable internet poker a reality in California and in other large states around the country,” said Melanie Brenner, president of Poker Voters of America.
Dorinson, a Sacramento communications and political strategist, led the COPA’s charge against Harry Reid’s Online Poker Bill. The group made up of a coalition of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and Southern California card clubs contended the Reid Poker Bill would be bad for California and obviously, the groups represented in COPA.
The Poker Voters of America have their support behind a competing bill as they feel the COPA supported Bill would “grant COPA members an exclusive monopoly to operate online poker in California,” and that “it would exclude participation by some of the state’s largest gaming tribes and nearly a hundred licensed card clubs”
The PVoA’s support the 2008 bill AB 2026, first introduced by Lloyd Levine. The bill passed the California Assembly and two senate committees, before being withdrawn in the middle of California’s budget crisis. AB 2026 calls for regulated and taxed online poker in the state of California.
The switch from COPA to the PVoA could be a blow to the protectionist COPA group but we’ll have to see which group, if any, is successful in pushing regulated poker though in the California legislature.