Pennsylvania Hearing Bodes Well for Online Gambling

Published April 23, 2015 by Elana K

Pennsylvania Hearing Bodes Well for Online Gambling

Pennsylvania's House Gaming Oversight Committee recently held a hearing on online gambling that seemed very much in favor of passing legislation in the state.

On April 16, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives’ House Gaming Oversight Committee held a hearing in which it heard testimony about the burning-hot topic of online gambling. The hearing followed a resolution that was submitted by the Pennsylvania House to the U.S. Congress, in which the House stated its opposition to the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), a bill that would ban online gambling throughout the country.

The tone of the meeting was decidedly positive, much unlike the recent congressional hearing held last month at the urging of Sheldon Adelson, which was decidedly anti-online gambling.

The Hearing

The only opposition to the idea of online gambling came at the beginning of the meeting, from Andy Abboud, spokesman for the Las Vegas Sands Corporation and its owner, Sheldon Adelson. Online Poker Report’s Chris Grove was live-tweeting many of Abboud's unsubstantiated claims throughout the hearing. It also did not seem like John Payne, who had proposed HB 649, an online gambling bill in Pennsylvania, was buying what Abboud was selling.

Then the facts came in: Technical experts from GLI , the iGaming security company, and GeoComply, the geolocation company, demonstrated how their products truly prevent underage and out-of-state gaming. Lindsay Slater of GeoComply actually showed how their software works in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, using real-time information on the spot!

Benefits of Online Gambling in Pennsylvania

Last year, Pennsylvania commissioned a study to find out exactly what regulating online gambling would mean for the Keystone state. The conclusion was that regulated online poker could bring in up to $129 million annually once it reaches maturation, and that house-banked online casino games could bring in up to $178 million annually under the same conditions.

No Vote Taken

Despite the positive vibes, no vote was taken on Payne’s HB 649 at the end of the meeting. Instead, a second hearing was scheduled for next month, in front of the same committee. It seems that Pennsylvania might just be the fourth state to legalize online gambling in the United States.

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