Pennsylvanian Online Gambling Legalisation Bill Introduced (update)

Erickson bill promised earlier this month introduced to state legislature

Comment around a proposed online gambling legalisation bill prepared by Pennsylvanian state Senator Edwin Erickson (see previous InfoPowa reports) intensified Tuesday when the senator introduced SB 1386 to the state Senate.

The bill is supported by Senator Bob Mensch but there was some speculation on what it actually covers; the preamble suggests a focus on internet poker, but references in the draft to any online activity approved by state authorities could enable the measure to more widely embrace online gambling at some point.

The preamble reads: "Developments in technology and recent legal decisions have created an opportunity to legalize interactive poker as a means to further enhance and complement the benefits delivered by casino gaming, licensed facilities and the communities in which they operate."

The bill as introduced is little changed from a draft circulated earlier this month and given wide media exposure.

It covers agreements on shared player pools with like-minded states; license fees of $5 million, along with a tax rate of 14 percent of GGR.

Licensing will be confined to currently licensed land gambling operators, who must use the same branding, a clearly commercially protective clause that is extended by the addition of extensive "bad actor" provisions designed to exclude companies that may present serious commercial competition.

The bill comes after a study of gambling in the state concluded that online poker could lead to revenues of around $129 million annually (see previous InfoPowa reports).

With a population 50 percent greater than New Jersey, hitherto the most populous state to legalise, Pennsylvania offers significant online poker business potential that should far outrun Nevada. Observers have already noted that a Pennsylvania – New Jersey partnership could create a player pool seven times that of the combined players in Delaware and Nevada.

Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa

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