Pennsylvania Online Gambling’s Fate Uncertain, Says Rep. Payne

There are “50/50” chances that online casino gaming and daily fantasy sports (DFS) will be regulated in Pennsylvania as lawmakers buckle down to take another look at regulated online gaming for the Keystone State.

Pennsylvania Rep. John Payne made the grim update just a week before members of House Gaming Oversight Committee conduct a deliberation on his sponsored bill, which aims to regulate online gaming in the state.

Payne believe that the legislators will not tackle the issue of DFS and online casino gaming together this year with only a weeks left before the Senate session adjourns, according to Online Poker Report.

“It’s a matter of whether the Senate wants to do [online] gaming this year,” Payne said.

The Pennsylvania lawmaker, however, assured that he’s still doing everything he can to get both online casino gaming and DFS regulated in the state before he retires at the end of November.

According to Payne, it is important for Pennsylvania to pass gaming-related legislation in order to maintain the state’s competitiveness. He pointed out that neighboring states are now making a run for Pennsylvania’s $3 billion money by boosting their respective casino industries.

Payne warned that Pennsylvania might end up becoming like Atlantic City, which has lost five casinos in less than three years.

“We are just hurting ourselves,” Payne said on Pennsylvania not legalizing and regulating online gaming for its 12 brick-and-mortar casinos. “No one around us is sitting around doing nothing.”

Pennsylvania lawmakers are set to fix its gambling law after the state Supreme Court declared a local casino tax illegal. The move will be made in order to allay the fears of some communities that they will miss out on $10 million a year in much-needed slot tax revenue.

Thomas Leonard, chairman of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP, who argued the case in March for Mount Airy Casino Resort in the Poconos, earlier said that the General Assembly will have a difficult time revising the law.

“They are going to have a hard time getting this through because they are used to give-and-take and horse trading,” he said. “It’s not a simple fix.”

Calvin Ayre

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