Legalizing and regulating online gaming in the state of Pennsylvania continues to move forward. HB 649 continues to progress after moving through the House Gaming Oversight Committee. Online poker would be available for residents within the state, if the bill is eventually passed into law.
Last week, the House Gaming Oversight Committee decided to approve the measure, with a vote of 18-8. The proposal now must go to the House and then Senate. If approved in both areas, the bill would then be sent to the governor and will have to be signed into law, or the governor has the option to veto the measure.
The Poker Players Alliance has been reporting the movement of the legislation, stating that the bill has been read on the House floor earlier this week. This helps the bill to move forward, yet a date for the House to vote has yet to be set.
The bill, HB 649 could still be placed in a larger bill to assist with the state budget, which has been under stress for the past few months. Legislators cannot seem to decide on how to move forward with the budget and many feel online gaming could help with the shortfall.
It is believed that if online gaming was regulated in the state, as much as $300 million could be earned. A proposed tax rate of 14% would be implemented if the bill is passed. The sponsor of the bill is Representative John Payne, who has been focusing on pushing the measure forward to see online gaming legalized within the state.
If the bill is passed, it could take as long as twelve months after legalization to see online gaming launched within the state. This would be due to the testing of technology to be used as well as the creation of regulation.