Penn lawmakers put online gambling vote on hold

Penn lawmakers put online gambling vote on hold

Thursday, October 22, 2015 Totally Gaming
Rep John Payne's bill would allow existing licencees to offer online gaming

A vote on expanded gambling in Pennsylvania has been put on hold as lawmakers assess which are the most likely options to be passed.

Politicians in the US state have put forward a series of gambling-related options in an attempt to boost state coffers.

The House Gaming Oversight Committee was due to discuss and vote on chairman John Payne’s Bill HB649 – which would allow existing licence holders in the state to offer online gambling – but the chairman himself said that Republican majority leaders had asked him to postpone it at this stage in budget negotiations.

Lawmakers who are resisting tax increases to balance a $2bn (€1.76bn) budget deficit are exploring Pennsylvania’s third expansion of gambling in six years as an alternative source of cash. However, Payne and the committee’s ranking Democrat, Nick Kotik, say they don’t know which proposals could pass the committee.

Numerous proposals have been put forward, including legalising online gambling and video poker terminals at bars, while Kotik has suggested plans for regulated sports betting.

Meanwhile, the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG), headed by Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adelson, has launched a scathing attack on the legislative push to regulate in the state.

CSIG released a 30 second video that accuses Payne of “working hard to legalise predatory online gambling” and lawmakers of “putting “families at risk” by considering the legislation.

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