Pennsylvania Senate Could Vote On Online Gambling as Soon as Wednesday2 years ago
A gaming package legalizing online poker in Pennsylvania could be introduced to the State's Senate as soon as Monday, seeing a vote by Wednesday.
The Pennsylvania Senate is planning to revise its position on online gambling after a budgetary shortfall of nearly $2 billion.
In other words, Pennsylvania needs money, and this bill (H 271) is part of a larger package of bills designed to generate more revenue (H 542).
Having passed the House after weeks of negotiations, H 271 would have to advance to the Senate and be subsequently voted on. Then the amended bill would return to the House for approval.
According to Senator Jake Corman, if the bill advances to the Senate on Monday, the vote would take place as soon as Wednesday.
H 271 is not completely safe, however, there remain some doubts the revenue generated will live up to expectations.
As Senator Cornman said:
“There are some concerns on some of the aggressive estimates on gaming. So whether we can achieve the amount of dollars that this proposal may ask for, I think is aggressive and may be difficult to do, particularly this late in the year. The recurring number was particularly high in the second year in [the House’s] assumptions. Whether that can be achieved or not, I don’t know. In the scale of a $33 billion revenue package that funds our state budget, you’re only talking about a couple hundred million here, so it’s a fraction of what we need to achieve.”
It should be noted that Gaming accounts for $265 million in new revenue on the latest House plan. The bill was first conceived to include Video Gaming Terminals (Video Poker machines and the like) which would've accounted for some of that revenue, but were ultimately vetoed.
One of the biggest fears proponents of this bill have is the Senate deciding to amend the bill after the hell it went through in the House, even a slight modification by the Senate could mean a failure to get a majority of House representatives approval.
Either way it's certain that the Pennsylvania state government sees outright banning gaming as leaving money on the table, so to speak and there's strong incentive to make regulate online poker in Pennsylvania sooner rather than later.
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