In case you missed this article in The Hill, Zynga, which produces a free online poker game for Facebook as well as titles like "Mafia Wars" and "FarmVille," hired a D.C.-based lobbying firm, Bay Bridge Strategies. According to The Hill, "The firm said it will lobby on 'legislation pertaining to regulation and taxation of internet gambling' and 'privacy and internet policy.'"
According to Gambling Compliance and Bluff, "If Zynga begins lobbying Federal internet gambling legislation, it will become the 69th business to declare internet gambling lobbying expenses in 2012."
Legalization and regulation of online poker appears to be taking a more state-by-state approach in the United States, so it'll be interesting to see if the involvement of Zynga pushes matters along:
This very welcome news. The more pro-poker lobbying, the better off we are.
Companies don't just invest in lobbying Congress for the sake of it. Rather, like poker players, they weigh the expected value of these decisions. In this case, I believe the great work the poker community has done via things like the Poker Daily Action Plan has helped raise the potential of passing legislation high enough that more and more businesses are coming on board.