Pennsylvania iGaming Update: Discussion Hearing Set for Today; Online Poker Bill in the Works

pennsylvania_state_sealThe state of Pennsylvania is one that has been a hot topic of discussion when it comes to online poker and casino gambling. Officials of the state have been studying online gaming and now two announcements have been made in regards to iGaming in the state. A hearing is scheduled to take place today with the Pennsylvania Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee to discuss a recent study about online gaming in the state while State Senator Edwin Erickson has announced he is working on a bill to legalize online poker in the state.

The hearing will be taking place today and will cover the information found by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee’s study of online gaming. The study was conducted to determine how iGaming could be of benefit to Pennsylvania.

The hearing is titled The Current Condition and Future Viability of Casino Gaming in Pennsylvania and according to the study, the state could earn as much as $307 million in annual revenues from regulated iGaming. This would include $129 million from online poker revenues.

The hearing is also expected to see a little heat as those for online gambling as well as opposed will be in attendance. The study looks at land based casinos in the state earning the licenses to operate online gaming as this would give the land based businesses a boost. However, those who are opposed to the option are expected to express their opinion especially since the Sands Casino Resort is located in Bethlehem, PA and is connected to Sheldon Adelson. Andy Abboud, the Las Vegas Sand Senior VP is expected to represent the company during the hearing.

At the same time, State Senator Erickson announced that he intends to introduce an online poker bill that will allow online poker in the state. According to OnlinePokerReport, Erickson stated yesterday in a co-sponsorship memoranda:

“In the next few weeks I intend to introduce Senate Bill 1386, legislation that would authorize Interactive Gaming in the form of online poker. A recent study from the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee found that Internet Gaming is a large new source of revenue that the Commonwealth could explore. This means more revenues to assist in the reduction of real estate taxes.”

The meeting today could determine what happens next in the state of Pennsylvania. It will be interesting to see if the majority are in favor of the option or if nothing will come of today’s hearing. The possibility of new poker legislation in the state is quite promising, especially considering the findings of the recent study.

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