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Pennsylvania for online gaming

April 14, 2014

Pennsylvania is getting closer to the new online gambling legislation that could finally open this advantageous market. The state of Pennsylvania wants to become the fourth state in the US to regulate the online gambling and sports betting industry as many other states have already been offering casino games and sports wagering services in a very successful way. Viability reports are showing that the online gaming industry is growing slowly because of the obstacles from obdurate groups and coalitions against the online gambling market, such as the one created by Las Vegas mogul Sheldon Adelson. This market's viability is based on the figures that three states have gathered in only a few months of activity. The Keystone State, Pennsylvania, could be looking at a new online gambling regulation this year; the state is currently studying the pros and cons of the market although the viability studies will provide us with the final report this coming month of May. The Keystone State has done an excellent job in casino gambling as, the state, has been one of the most relevant gambling states in the US since 2006 when the market started being regulated by the state. The state is for the online gaming industry in Pennsylvania, as the land-based casinos have not presented very good figures during the last couple of years. On the other hand, Pennsylvania's bordering states, such as Delaware, Maryland, New York and Ohio, have probably something to do with this decrease in the casino numbers these years, in particular, Delaware, who has already opened the online gaming market. Gaming board representative, Doug Harbach, stated: "There continues to be increased casino competition from all of Pennsylvania’s bordering states and that certainly is affecting year-over-year revenue."

The pressure from anti-online coalitions and groups can be also felt in Pennsylvania; Mario Scavello, a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, is backing up Sheldon Adelson's Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, and doing something even worse than that. Scavello is not only happy supporting coalitions that prevent the development of an industry; he even wants to call for fines and prison sentences to any online gambler in Pennsylvania, commenting: "Here again, online gambling is best described as the Wild West. Online, there is no one around to keep an eye on someone who does not know when to stop. I believe that if you hit people in their wallets, we can start to crack down on the lawbreakers."


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