Pennsylvania Online Gambling - Not This Year

Published November 8, 2016 by Elana K

Pennsylvania Online Gambling - Not This Year

It seems that 2016 will not be the year that Pennsylvania approves online gambling legislation. The latest obstacle facing HB 1887, which would legalize online gambling in the Keystone State, is the inaction of the Senate.

It seems that 2016 will not be the year that Pennsylvania approves online gambling legislation. The latest obstacle facing HB 1887, which would legalize online gambling in the Keystone State, is the inaction of the Senate.

Earlier this fall, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a certain section of the bill is unconstitutional. That section included a temporary solution for the local tax share of the Gaming Act of 2004. The House amended the bill and added certain gaming reforms, but the Senate adjourned without even looking at the amendments, and is not due to resume until November 15.

Why is the Senate Stalling?

Some reports claim that the Senate wants to pass the tax share solution as a separate bill that has nothing to do with online gambling. Online gambling is a much more loaded issue, and is not a priority, whereas the tax share fix is.

Where the Senate and House Differ

The House sees a fundamental connection between the two issues of the tax share fix and online gambling, and wants to keep the two together. The revenue from online gambling can be a direct and immediate solution to the state’s budget issues. Towards that end, the House has already approved two bills that would legalize online gambling - but the bills came to a halt when they reached the Senate.

Future Obstacles

John Payne, chair of the House Gaming Oversight Committee, has been one of the driving forces behind online gambling. He, however, will be retiring on November 30, which means that online gambling will be losing one of its main supporters. Additionally, 2017 will see a turnover in the legislature, which means that the online gambling bills will have to start virtually from scratch. 

But just because the future may be difficult doesn’t mean that online gambling won’t make it in Pennsylvania. It may just take a little more time.

See also

No Online Gambling For Pennsylvania This Year

Pennsylvania Online Gambling Faces Obstacles Before it Starts

New Online Gambling Bill Up For Approval in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Online Gambling Generates $3.4 Million in August

New York and Pennsylvania Move Toward Online Gambling


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