Yesterday the House Gaming Oversight Committee of Pennsylvania held a hearing to discuss online gaming in the state. The hearing lasted for just over two hours and discussed the proposal of Representative John Payne, H.B. 649. The hearing featured testimony from several experts and shed a favorable light towards the game of poker.
During the hearing, testimony was heard on how iGaming takes place in other jurisdictions. The hearing focused on online gaming within the US, in states New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada as well as in Europe. Tax revenues and job creation were also discussed as a result of allowing online poker gaming.
One focus of the hearing was shared poker liquidity like that of Delaware and Nevada. The recent partnership of the two states has been successful thus far and helps to generate traffic to online poker sites of both states. During the hearing, it was revealed that Pennsylvania may consider joining a compact with another area to offer shared player pooling.
Emphasis was placed on casinos and online poker sites working together, without issue, with testimony from a representative of Caesars Entertainment. Additional focus was placed on the technical side of online gaming. A representative of Gaming Laboratories International was on hand to discuss the technology used, comparing the activity to online banking which is a regulated industry. Safeguards can be put in place to protect minors from creating online gaming accounts with certain technological aspects used in online poker sites.
The hearing concluded with Spectrum Gaming Group’s Michael Pollock stating that the state lawmakers should consider Internet gaming a privilege and operators should be held accountable to high regulatory standards that will be set by gaming regulators in the state.
The overall tone of the hearing was a positive one with the PokerPlayersAlliance tweeting that the tone of the PA House was much happier than the Congressional hearing recently held for the RAWA legislation. Proponents of the activity were far happier with the results of the Pennsylvania hearing than the one-side RAWA hearing just a few weeks ago.
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