The Pennsylvania Online Poker Bill – update!

poker lady luck

Pennsylvania is well on their way of becoming the fourth state to legalize online poker. It’s a mixed reaction as most can imagine from the brick and mortar casinos. It should come as no surprise that they probably don’t like added competition.

It’s a sign of the times and they’ve got to change. People no longer want to have to drive to a casino to play the card game they love. Not considering the fact that the internet gives them all day instant access to poker.

The interesting thing is that Pennsylvania is $2 billion dollars in debt. It’s estimated that online poker could eventually raise $300 million dollars. This certainly isn’t chump change and it would make a dent in the budget deficit.

It’s not a silver bullet and it won’t cure every ailment that the budget seems to have. After all, a state can’t operate at a loss forever. At some point they’ve got to get their act together and pay off those debts. Online poker seems to be a great first step in the state’s ability to do just that.

Many states are running deficits or are seeking new sources of revenue for all sorts of programs. Gambling isn’t a cure all for everything and it should never be seen as such. With that said, it does give states the ability to pay for things.

It’s a source of revenue that they otherwise wouldn’t have. There are many reasons why online poker should be legalized in all fifty states. This is just one of those reasons and it’s time society understands the benefits of it. That’s because online poker can benefit each and every person in society and not just players themselves.

Added revenues for state budgets are just another bonus of legalizing online poker. Every community can benefit from legalized gambling online. The money can be used to pay off debts or for social programs that make society as a whole better.

Here is an excerpt from the original story on

Lawmakers voted 18-8 in favor of the legislation, according to the Poker Players Alliance, a D.C.-based lobbying group for the card game.

The bill moves to a potential full House vote. If successful there, it will go to the Senate for consideration. If the Senate approves it, Gov. Tom Wolf will have it on his desk to veto or sign into law.

The legislation, HB 649, could still become part of a larger bill aimed to help resolve the 2016 budget gridlock in the Keystone State. Other gambling reform ideas on the table in Harrisburg include slots at airports, online lottery sales and daily fantasy sports regulation.

“With the passage of HB 649, the House Gaming Oversight Committee has proven their commitment to providing Pennsylvania residents with a safe and regulated place to play online poker within their own borders,” PPA executive director John Pappas said in a statement. “The PPA thanks Chairman John Payne and the Committee for their leadership. Now this bill needs to become law. The safety of consumers and the fiscal health of Pennsylvania will be vastly improved when Internet gaming is appropriately licensed, regulated and taxed. It is our hope that the legislation will be enacted on its own or as part of the state’s 2016 budget by the end of this year.”

By taking online poker out of the shadows, it enables us to strengthen our society. While at the same time it gives players the comfort of knowing the games they play are being regulated in a way that ensures fairness. Both the public and players come out winners when this is done across the board.

Pennsylvania is leading the way and no doubt other states will follow. It’s only a matter of time before lawmakers see the budget possibilities that online poker presents. People aren’t going to stop playing because it isn’t regulated. Not regulating online poker doesn’t deter people from playing. All it does is ensure that local and state governments lose out on their share of the revenues.

When both the public and lawmakers realize this, they’ll be one the same page. Until then, society as a whole will continue to suffer. The game isn’t going to go away and it’s always going to be available online. It’s hard to believe that few have seemed to grasp this concept yet. But, it seems like the good folks in Pennsylvania and three other states already have. Which is why those states already have or are inching their way towards legal online poker.