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While online casino gambling is yet to be regulated in Pennsylvania at this time, we can say with a certain amount of confidence that the day will soon be at hand. Therefore, we want to give our readers a chance to gain an understanding of the progress made, as well as any obstacles that the state is facing in regards to becoming the next US state to legalize online gambling.

Working diligently to offer up the best outline for Pennsylvania online casinos, Senator Edwin Erickson has already made progress by officially introducing a bill he designed to legalize online gambling in the Keystone State.

Erickson’s Senate Bill 1386, is specifically touted by him to be designed to go after regulating online poker and has a limited allowance restricting other games. He first announced his intensions to move forward with this bill in May of 2014.

After much scrutiny, we’ve come to realize that the original draft of Erickson’s casino bill contains important verbiage in the language that may not actually limit the casino games operators could provide to consumers. The term “authorized game” perhaps intended to mean “poker”, only alludes to “a game”.

The bill makes many references to poker in its introduction, and yet seems to be remiss of any limitation, as there is no language specifically restricting gaming activity to poker.

Important sections of this current draft address hot topics such as “bad actor” clauses, lengthy limitations on “skins”, interstate capability for poker, and states that there would be no penalties for playing at unlicensed online casino sites and poker rooms. Also worth mentioning is the proposed 14% tax rate, as well as a hefty $5 million fee for license acquisition by each intended operator.

Interestingly enough, Erikson’s seat is up for re-election this year, and he does not intend to run again. The effect this could have on seeing the bill through State channels could likely be one of “sooner than later”. Interest in this issue is conducive to insiders believing that if Pennsylvania were to open up to online gambling, the time will be soon.

The bill has most recently been passed on to the Senate Committee on Community, Economic & Recreational Development. Senator Kim Ward chairs this committee and she now supports bringing online gambling to the state.

While there is still time to work the bill into legislation, there is a deadline at hand. Once a budget is finalized, lawmakers will then resume matters during Pennsylvania’s Fall Session in mid-September (2014).
The state has influential supporters in place, both political and private sector related, standing firmly behind Pennsylvania online gambling legislature .The positive energy surrounding this issue has been progressing steadily. Pennsylvania’s Governor, Tom Corbett has even mentioned that he is willing to work up to the last day possible on this.

While confidence is also plentiful amongst proponents of online casinos in the Keystone state, nothing is written in stone just yet. The majority of those “in the know” easily side with the fact that they truly believe the industry will open in Pennsylvania indeed. For them, it is a matter of “when” and no longer “if”. Stay tuned, Pennsylvania readers.

Please visit the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board for official updates:  https://gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov

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