Pennsylvania online gaming bill much closer than ever
November 25, 2015
The state of Pennsylvania is considering the possibility of a gambling bill that could open the doors to the online market. After the decision taken by the US House Gaming Oversight Committee, the state could be one more of the US states allowing online gambling operators to offer online services such as casino and poker games. Earlier this year, we put our hopes on bill HB 649 that State Representative John Payne wanted to introduce in the United States. This caught Pennsylvania’s attention and now its online gaming bill could become a reality. However, there is always a tricky component that is found in some of the legislation stipulations; existing licensed gaming operators would be the only ones that could offer online gambling services, like it happened with New Jersey’s market when this other state decided to legalize online gambling.
Pennsylvania’s House Gaming Oversight Committee voted in favor, fully supported, and now the online gambling bill is on its on way to the Senate. Governor Tom Wolf will be the one in charge. His decision could make a change if he decides passing the bill, which will become Pennsylvania’s online gambling legislation. The executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, John Pappas, one of the main supporters of this online gambling campaign, stated: “With the passage of HB 649, the House Gaming Oversight Committee has proven their commitment to providing Pennsylvania residents with a safe and regulated place to play online poker within their own borders. The PPA thanks chairman John Payne and the Committee for their leadership. Now this bill needs to become law. The safety of consumers and the fiscal health of Pennsylvania will be vastly improved when internet gaming is appropriately licensed, regulated and taxed. It is our hope that the legislation will be enacted on its own or as part of the state’s 2016 budget by the end of this year”. Dauphin County Republican John Payne, the author of the bill, stated: “Right now, thousands of Pennsylvanians who are playing these games online are at risk for fraud and abuse. This strong regulatory framework is necessary to protect our children and our citizens and to help shut down black market sites.”