Pennsylvania to consider online gambling expansion

A proposed expansion of Pennsylvania’s gambling industry would give casinos a presence anywhere there’s an Internet connection.

US.- The government is coming up with a plan to allow Pennsylvanians to play casino games, such as slots and video poker, for real money on their computers, phones and other Internet-connected devices.

The measure is being considered as the state lawmakers look for ways to close a budget deficit of at least US$1 billion without raising Pennsylvania’s sales or income tax. However, the plan’s author, state Rep. John Payne, explained that his intent is not for online gaming to be a silver bullet for the budget woes, as his main aim is to bring state oversight to something that is already happening illegally.

“Is that the saviour for the budget problem? No,”said Payne. “But isn’t it the right thing to do to protect our children and compulsive gamblers?”

Payne, who also chairs the House Gaming Oversight Committee, added that Pennsylvania won’t be reinventing the wheel. Online casinos are already in place in New Jersey. He said the goal would be for the state to regulate the online gambling industry as it does brick-and-mortar casinos.