New Bill Seeks to Ban Online Poker in Pennsylvania

Published April 28, 2015 by Elana K

Rep. Thomas Murt has introduced a bill that would ban internet poker and all internet gambling in the state of Pennsylvania. The bill will be reviewed by the House Gaming Oversight Committee.

While Pennsylvania has made large strides in the past few months towards regulating online gambling, a new bill is trying to reverse all that. State Representative Thomas Murt recently introduced a bill that would ban all on online poker in the state, as well as online gambling in general.

Murt’s House Bill 1013 has been signed by seven sponsors, and if passed, it would prohibit the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board from passing any rules or regulations that would allow internet gambling.

Penalties for Offenders

House Bill 1013 also proposes that operators who violate the online poker ban should be fined between $300 and $600, with possible jail time for second-time offenders. Operators that break the law more than three times would be slapped with a third degree misdemeanor, and could be fined as much as $2,000 and receive a year-long prison sentence.

Does the Bill Have a Chance?

The House Gaming Oversight Committee will review the bill, but it is not expected to be received warmly. The majority of the committee is pro-online gambling legislation, especially the committee chairman, John Payne, who recently proposed his own bill in favor of regulating online gambling. His bill received a hearing last week in which experts from the iGaming industry and the geolocation technology company, GeoComply, presented compelling information, which received very positive feedback.

Fellow-committee member Tina Davis also proposed a bill in favor of online gambling in the Keystone state, which means that the chances of Murt’s bill getting approved are slim to none.

Taking on RAWA
Pennsylvania’s House Gaming Oversight Committee recently encouraged state representatives in Washington to vote against the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), a bill which would ban online gambling at a federal level.

With so many factors clearly against him, it is unclear why Murt decided to go ahead with his bill. Perhaps he did so to make a statement. Or perhaps he thinks he really has a chance.

See also

Pennsylvania's Latest Online Gambling Bill Moves Slightly Forward in the Senate

Pennsylvania Bill Proposes Online Poker

New Online Poker Bill Introduced in Michigan

New Hampshire Online Gambling Bill Gets Another Revival

California Committee Approves Online Poker Bill


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