Pennsylvania Legislature Approves Online Gambling

Pennsylvania Legislature Approves Online GamblingOctober 2017 will go down as a landmark month in the history of US online poker, after two pieces of positive news were released that are set to transform the industry in the country. Just under a fortnight after New Jersey inked its online poker deal With Nevada and Delaware, the state of Pennsylvania has now approved a piece of legislation that will finally allow online gambling to take place within its borders.

On Wednesday, the bill was given a green light by the Pennsylvania Senate, before the following day receiving the same positive treatment in the House. iGaming bill H 271 is now expected to be signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf within the next ten days, and as iGaming analyst Steve Ruddock tweeted yesterday:

“There’s no reason for the Governor not to sign this bill. Gaming has always been part of the process, and it ends the budget stalemate.”

Over the past few years, the Keystone State had been considering regulating online gambling, with a potential regulated industry seen as one of the tools useful in helping to plug the state’s massive $2 billion budget shortfall. Over the past four months, however, negotiations over an overall budgetary package, which includes the gambling bill, broke down on several occasions. This week, matters then came close to being resolved after state lawmakers all but approved an overall funding package, clearing the path for Pennsylvania’s extended budget process to finally be brought to a conclusion.

The subsequent passing of iGaming bill H 271 will legalize online gambling games in Pennsylvania, including poker, slots, casino games, daily fantasy sports, and the lottery. In addition, 10 new mini-casinos will be allowed to operate across the state, while truck stops can also start offering video slot machines. A further provision has been added allowing Pennsylvania to provide sports betting services in case New Jersey wins its Supreme Court betting case, and have the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) overturned.

The exciting development has obviously been received with great enthusiasm by the country’s legion of online poker players, and commenting upon its implications for the future, John Pappas, Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), said:

“Pennsylvania made the right decision today. This is a major victory for consumers who, for years, have asked the state to step up and provide meaningful protections. The iGaming law will also help create new growth opportunities for the Commonwealth’s brick and mortar casinos while providing needed revenue for the state budget.”

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