Pennsylvania Online Gambling Bill Moves ForwardPublished November 30, 2015 by Elana K
A bill that would regulate online gambling in Pennsylvania has been approved by the House Gaming Oversight Committee; the bill now needs to receive approval from the full House, the Senate and the governor himself.
It looks like Pennsylvania might be following in the footsteps of Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, the only three states to have thus far legalized online gambling. But if online gambling proponent Rep. John Payne has his way, Pennsylvania will be added to that list. Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania House Gaming Oversight Committee approved a bill, sponsored by Payne, that would legalize and regulate online gambling in the Keystone State. Approval was was won in a landslide 18-8 vote in favor of online gambling.
The bill will now move to a full House vote. If it is approved there, it will continue onto the Senate, and finally, on to Governor Tom Wolf, who will have the choice of approving it or vetoing it.
Another option is for the bill to become part of a larger bill, which would include gambling reforms such as airport slot machines, online lottery sales and daily fantasy sports regulation.
Poker Players Alliance executive director John Pappas commented, “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.”
What Will Online Gambling Do for Pennsylvania?
One of the main purposes of legalizing online gambling is to help Pennsylvania with its budget deficit, which currently stands somewhere around the $2 billion mark.
Pennsylvania has estimated that regulating online gaming could bring in approximately $300 million annually, as well as boost revenue for the state's 12 land-based casinos. Pennsylvania's current gambling market brings in around $3 million a year.