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   Saturday, July 13 2024 
The Senate discussed online poker regulation in a hearing - Pennsylvania

While the future of online poker in California is likely hitting a dead-end, the whole Pennsylvania remains optimistic about the future of its own regulated market. A new bill, the SB900, the 5th of its kind, has just been submitted to the Senate. Backed by influential senators, namely Robert Tomlinson, Joseph Scarnati, Kim Ward and Elder Vogel, all odds are apparently in this bill’s favors for approval. Of course, it will pave the way to online poker and casino games legalization in Pennsylvania. Supporters of the bill argued that millions of Penn residents are currently joining offshore i-gaming platforms that have no legal scheme related to players’ protection. Yet, they all need legal and safe gaming environment.

At the hearing held last Wednesday in the Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee, the only dissenting voice was that of the representative from Sheldon Adelson’s Sands Bethlehem Casino. Critics uttered by the representative actually focused on the economic hassles that the regulation of internet gaming would generate. According to the representative, passing the abovementioned bill will harm Pennsylvania’s land-based casinos and put thousands of job at risk. As opposed to the critics, supporting senators highlighted the economic potential that online poker regulation could bring in the state. Approving the bill will provide Pennsylvania with a great source of revenue, they claimed. Besides, John Pappas of the “Poker Players Alliance” severely criticized the exorbitant 54% tax rate on i-gaming gross revenues, the $ 10 million license fee and the in-person registration term. By all accounts, there is a silver lining for the SB 900 to get passed into law.

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