This week has proven to be a positive one for the game of poker, with Pennsylvania taking center stage in the fight for the game in online form. Breaking news was posted yesterday by the Poker Players Alliance, reporting via Twitter, that the House Gaming Oversight Committee of Pennsylvania passed HR 140 which is a resolution to urge Congress to oppose the Restoration of America’s Wire Act legislation. The state will also be hosting a hearing this Thursday to discuss an expansion into online gambling.
In a tweet early Tuesday morning, the Poker Players Alliance announced the Committee had passed the legislation and it was ‘great to see states stand up for Internet #poker’. Soon after the passage, the Executive Director of the PPA John Pappas stated:
“The passage of this resolution sends a strong and clear message to the U.S. Congress that Pennsylvania has the right to make their own legislative decisions about licensing and regulating online poker without the partisan influence of Washington politics.”
The goal of HR 140 was to draw attention to the negative impacts of the RAWA legislation and try to convince Congress that the bill should not be passed. It was Representative John Payne who introduced the measure just a short time ago and would act as a contingency plan if RAWA was passed, allowing the state to lobby for an exemption.
Moving on to Thursday, the state now prepares for a hearing to explore the expansion into online gambling. As Chairman of the Gaming Oversight Committee, Payne continues to push for a healthy and competitive gaming industry and online gambling could help to assist the industry in the state.
The hearing is scheduled to cover several topics with three online poker bills currently introduced into legislation. The push seems to be for online poker and it will be interesting to see who is called to testify in the hearing and how the state fares when discussing the topic of online gaming. It could be that Pennsylvania is the next state to enter the United States gaming industry, joining Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey as online poker providers.
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