PA Gets a Third Poker Bill; State Assembly Passes Anti-RAWA Resolution; John Payne Presides over Positive Hearing for Online Gambling
May 07, 2015
A Third Online Gambling Bill Enters the Fray
A third online gambling bill has been introduced by longtime iGaming proponent Tina Davis. The bill, HB 920, would authorize Internet poker along with casino table games and is similar to legislation she filed in 2013.
PA Passes Resolution Urging Rejection of Anti-Online Gambling Bill
Pennsylvania, seen as one of the next states to legalize online gambling, has passed a resolution urging Congress to reject Sheldon Adelson’s Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), a bill which would ban all online gambling in the US.
HR 140 was passed by a vote of 18-8 and was meant to draw attention to RAWA which was proposed last year by Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). “The passage of this resolution sends a strong and clear message to the U.S. Congress that Pennsylvania has the right to make their own legislative decisions about licensing and regulating online poker without the partisan influence of Washington politics,” said Poker Players Alliance (PPA) Executive Director John Pappas.
“Sheldon Adelson’s anti-states’ rights bill would do nothing to protect Pennsylvanians online, and in fact would do the opposite by forcing Internet poker players into a black market with none of the consumer safeguards that players deserve,” he added.
Legislators Hold Productive and Positive Hearing for Online Gambling
Momentum is certainly building for the legalization of online gambling in the Commonwealth. With three bills filed, Representative John Payne chaired over a very levelheaded and insightful hearing on online gambling security.
Called to testify were a variety of industry heavyweights who explained the inner workings of safety measures used to prohibit illegal online gamblers from accessing regulated sites. Lindsay Slater from GeoComply put on a geolocation demonstration which showed the accuracy of the software by identifying two users who were playing on opposite sides of the same Starbucks.
Another witness, Kevin Mullaly of Gaming Laboratories International, explained that the safeguards put in place by regulated gaming sites are the same which are used successfully by the online banking industry already.
“Online gambling is simply a modernization of the delivery of content that your land-based casinos already have the legal right to offer,” said Mullaly.
The meeting was in stark contrast to the unhinged hearing for Chaffetz’s RAWA. Various witnesses, whose credibility was highly dubious, were called to testify against the online gambling industry, at one point claiming that the industry could “leak” into other states.
Witnesses in favor of iGaming pointed out that Sheldon Adelson, the brains behind RAWA, has been fined various times for allowing underage players to gamble. Adelson likes to use the excuse that underage players would find a way to play online. There are, however, no cases which have shown illegal gamblers accessing regulated sites in New Jersey, Las Vegas or Delaware.