Pennsylvania to Consider Online Poker

Pennsylvania to Consider Online Poker

Friday, 27 February 2015

Online poker could be heading to another state in the US in the coming months if a new bill is accepted.

Pennsylvania Representative, John Payne, recently submitted HB649 to the House Gaming Oversight Committee and believes that his proposal will help local residents access online poker and, importantly, plug the $2 billion budget shortfall the state is currently facing.

As with all US bills relating to online poker and gambling the list of conditions is vast, but one of the most interesting clauses not mentioned in the legislation is the notion of "bad actors". The omission of any references to banning bad actors (operators that have previously been active in the US post-UIGEA) is great news for site such as PokerStars.

Ever since US regulation became a growing trend, PokerStars has been fighting to gain a licence in one of the open states. Up until now the operator has faced a wave of resistance due to its previous activities in the US.

However, with Pennsylvania willing to accept anyone with the right gaming credentials, it could mean the industry's largest poker provider has a route back into the US. Of course, the bill would need to be officially passed, but the signs are certainly positive.

Indeed, one of the primary motivators for Pennsylvania's politicians is the huge budget deficit the state is facing. With no immediate way to stem the bleeding, officials are hoping an online gaming bill would bring in some much needed revenue. In fact, the intent for making as much money as possible is clear as the bill explicitly permits intrastate playerpool sharing. This would mean a greater amount of liquidity for players and, therefore, increased tax revenue for the state.

Naturally, the bill will need to overcome a plethora of hurdles before it's formally accepted by the House, but the early signs are that the US may have another regulated igaming state by the close of 2015.

Tags: Online poker, regulation USA, Pennsylvania