REPUBLICANS FILE ANTI-ONLINE GAMBLING BILL IN PENNSYLVANIA
14th March, 2017 at 08:11:41
HB801 has echoes of last year's unsuccessful attempt authored by former Representative (now Senator) Mario Scavello.
Heating up the Pennsylvania online gambling legalisation discussion this week is the introduction of an anti-online gambling bill by five Republican representatives, led by Thomas Murt - Representatives Matthew Baker, Robert Kauffman, Craig Staats and Will Tallman.
HB801 seeks the prohibition and criminalisation of online gambling within the state, and has been introduced in time to almost certainly be included in the second joint hearing on the online gambling issue by the House Gaming Oversight Committee and the Senate Community Economic & Recreational Development Committee, scheduled for March 20 (see previous reports).
Observers note that the new bill closely resembles a similar and unsuccessful bill submitted last year by then Rep. Mario Scavello, who is now chairman of the Community Economic & Recreational Development Committee in the state Senate.
Last year legislators had little appetite for such a ban and rejected the bill, and much the same reaction is anticipated this year.
Two of the new bill's sponsors, Reps. Murt and Baker, also supported last year's abortive banning bill authored by Scavello.
HB801 proposes to prohibit internet gambling, proclaiming:
"No individual or entity shall solicit, invite, collect or accept cash or any other form of currency through the Internet for the purposes of wagering or betting. No individual or entity shall organize, or cause to be organized, any type of gambling event that is held over the Internet."
There are enforcement provisions with escalating but fairly low fines for repeat offenders.
In related news, reports from Pennsylvania indicate that uncertainty over the Trump administration's position on legalised online gambling is causing concern among some lawmakers, causing them to plead for a hiatus in legalisation efforts until the federal government stance is clearer.
readers will recall that the new US Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, said in nomination hearings recently (prompted by arch online-gambling foe Sen. Lindsey Graham) that he would re-visit the Department of Justice legal opinion that the Wire Act applies only to online sports betting.
A revision of this policy has the potential to take online gambling back to the days three years ago before the states of Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware made intrastate online gambling legal and several other states introduced online wagering on lottery products.
Related News Tags: Lotteries, New Jersey, Censorship