Pennsylvania officials are a lot closer to making a decision to legalize online poker after a lengthy meeting that took place on the 10th of June in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The meeting was headed by Sen. Kim Ward who is in favor of rolling out an online gambling bill. The Economic & Recreational Development Committee, the Senate Community and a number of casino operators got together to share their views and discuss the possibilities of legalizing online poker in Pennsylvania.
The state currently has a multi-billion budget deficit and the brick & mortar casino industry has also faced a decline in profits for the last two years. Pennsylvania is looking to create a new revenue stream from legalizing online poker and there are already a number of gambling establishments who are ready to launch their online poker operations in the state.
The Poker Players Alliance who campaign for the legalization of online poker throughout the United States was happy with the progress that Pennsylvania has made in the process to legalize online gambling.
In a statement, John Pappas, executive director of the PPA said
Today the Pennsylvania Senate took an important step toward bringing the great game of poker into the 21st Century and ensuring residents are protected by the most sophisticated online consumer technologies. As the Internet increasingly becomes an integral part of all of our daily lives, Pennsylvania lawmakers are clearly recognizing that more and more Pennsylvanians want the option to enjoy the game of poker online.
Gambling representatives has asked state legislators to legalize online gambling and also make it affordable so that gambling companies will be able to get a license quickly and not have to pay excessive fees. Representatives requested state legislators to pass a bill to legalize online gambling and stated that they were confident the market in Pennsylvania would provide a strong revenue stream in the form of taxes to the state.
The next step in the process to legalize online poker is critical because it will involve putting together a strong proposal that has sufficient regulations to convince the House and Senate that there are no loopholes in the process to legalize online gambling. Over the next few months, legislators will have a number of meetings and make numerous amendments to the proposal before submitting the same for approval. If the House and Senate pass the proposal then the final step of the process, will be to gain approval from the governor.