The state of Pennsylvania still has a chance to approve online poker bill.
US.- Pennsylvania is the last hope for online poker to be legalised and regulated in another state before the end of the year.
Now, even though there is a good chance that the bill to legalise online poker and other forms of internet gambling will pass due to the inclusion of that revenue in the budget approved before the summer legislative break, there are only a few days during which lawmakers can act.
The Poker Players Alliance is lobbying hard in Pennsylvania, to get the online poker bill legalised and regulated this year.
State Representative John Payne pushed consistently in the first part of 2016, as he had done in the past, to legalise and regulate online poker and gambling. Payne’s bill turned into a larger gambling expansion proposal, which was HB 2150 and passed the House of Representatives in June. The bill stopped there and did not pass the Senate before the summer break.
In addition, the revenue expected from online gambling and other expansion measures was inserted into the state budget, which was passed in mid-July and signed by Governor Tom Wolf. There was US$100 million in the budget that needed to come from the unpassed gambling bill, meaning the budget needs that money to fulfill its obligations.
The Pennsylvania House returned to session this week, whilst the Senate will come back to work next Monday, September 26. As it stands, the Senate must pass the bill first, then the House must pass it and then the Governor can sign it into law. That translates into only 10 in-session voting days to move forward IF the Senate passes the gambling expansion bill on its first day back in session next week.