Ship it to Pennsylvania! The fight to bring online poker back to America took a massive step forward. Pennsylvania legislators passed a gaming reform bill that includes online gambling regulation, online casinos, and most importantly… online poker. Pennsylvania is just another slowly-won, hardly-fought battle to bring internet poker back on a state-by-state basis. Pennsylvania is in a position to become the fourth state to legalize online poker, so long as the governor signs the bill into law in the next ten days.
It's been a long, tiresome, arduous journey to get online poker back on American soil. And the state of Pennsylvania helped bring the nation one step closer to its old glory days before Black Friday 2011. Pennsylvania is set to become the fourth state in the US to legalize online poker, along with Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. The other three states recently reached a shared player pool pact, which will go in effect at an undetermined date in the future.
Lawmakers in the "Keystone State" sought out online gaming revenue to help bail them out of dire financial straits. The state house and state senate both passed H 271, an online gambling bill, that will legalize online poker and other online casinos. Online gambling revenue in Pennsylvania is projected to generate over 250 million per year.
Pennsylvania is the sixth largest population in the US. It would automatically become the largest individual state online market. It's more than likely Pennsylvania will join the shared online poker player pool with Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware.
It's been a bumpy road to bring online poker back to the US, but Pennsylvania is a leap in the right direction. It's been over six years since Black Friday and only the fourth state out of fifty has seen the light... the glorious light of the end of the tunnel that's an entire pot of gold filled to the brim with online poker revenue.
The bill is currently sitting on the desk of the governor, who has ten days to sign the bill, or veto it. It's now up to Governor Tom Wolf to sign the gaming bill into law and flip the switch on online poker. The governor could also veto the bill. There's also a third legislative angle... which would be to not do anything, which in this case, the bill goes into effect.
This PA gaming bill will allow online lotteries, slots, and daily fantasy sports in addition to other casino games and poker. The passing of the bill also opens up the door to legalized sportsbetting, but only if the federal government changes their stance on it. As is, sportsbetting is illegal on a federal scale.
On Wednesday, the state senate rules committee voted on amendments to the massive-size gaming bill, which topped in excess of 420 pages. The state house was set to vote on Wednesday night, but got stuck in debate that carried over into Thursday's session. The gaming bill, which includes the regulation of online casinos, online lottery, online slots, daily fantasy sports, and online poker, was finally put to a vote and passed 109-72.
Some terms of the bill included a 16% tax for poker and table games. Online slots took the hardest hit with a whopping 54% tax! That is currently the biggest percentage out of any legal online gambling state.
Pretty much everyone in the know expects Governor Wolf to sign the bill within the ten-day waiting period. The state has been seeking out ways to generate recurring revenue, and online gambling seemed like a proper fit.