Online Gambling Regulation in Pennsylvania Moves Forward as HB 649 – Sponsored by Committee Chairman John Payne Emerges from Sidelines
This week was considered a success with approval of legislation for the state of Pennsylvania to offer online gambling. Although regulation has not been made into a law, online gambling bill HB649 passed the Gaming Oversight Committee. The Committee passed the bill by a vote of 18-8, which is a significant defeat compared to previous attempts.
Before the bill could reach the government for final approval and regulation it would need to pass the full House and then on to the Senate, and then final approval by Pennsylvania governor. If the passage doesn’t happen this year it’s okay! The vote will carry on to next year, but John Pappas, Poker Players Alliance thinks it will happen a lot sooner than we all think.
The state’s budget for 2016 is soon to be resolved, and it would certainly see the reassurance needed if online gaming was in with the budget. John Pappas says that,
“There’s no hiding the fact that Pennsylvania is in desperate budget crisis and looking for potential revenue streams.” Pappas continued saying with the passage of H.B New Jersey, Nevada and DE are already successfully providing their residents with a safe and regulated online gaming market accountable to the players, regulators and law enforcement, and now it’s Pennsylvania’s turn to give their citizens this right”, added Pappas in the press release. “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.”
The bill also includes for state international airports to offer slot machine play by ticketed passengers and the allowance of casinos to obtain licenses to service alcoholic beverages to those players.
An Act amending Title 4 (Amusements) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, providing for authorized interactive gaming and for duties of Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and Department of Health; and imposing an interactive gaming tax and prescribing penalties.