Legislative Scramble: PA Op-Ed and 2nd CA Committee Ok’s AB 431

CongressWelcome to the first installment of Bluff’s weekly overview of the progress of online gaming legislation in the United States.

Not surprisingly, Pennsylvania and California continue to dominate the online gaming headlines and will therefore feature prominently in this column, as both states continue to work towards passage of an online gaming bill.

Even though California Assemblyman Adam Gray’s online poker bill (AB 431) has passed through two committees and is now capable of a floor vote, Representative John Payne’s HB 649 in Pennsylvania continues to have the best chance of passage in 2015 in most analysts view.

PA Lawmakers take their case to the people

Representatives John Payne and Nick Kotik outlined their case for bringing regulated online gambling to the Keystone State in a strongly worded op-ed that appeared on the PennLive.com website this week.

In their remarks the duo focused on the lack of consumer protections afforded to players at the current crop of unlicensed offshore sites that are currently servicing players in Pennsylvania and across most of the United States, and the millions of dollars regulating online gaming would add to the state’s coffers annually.

Among the statements the sponsors of the aforementioned HB 649 made in their op-ed were:

“It makes no sense to leave online gaming unregulated, and sit idly while the state loses out on this income and players are unprotected.” And, “Simply put, regulating online gaming is a win/win for Pennsylvanians and the state.”

CA Appropriations Committee Releases iPoker Bill to Assembly Floor

On Thursday the California Assembly Appropriations Committee continued the advance of Assemblyman Adam Gray’s online poker bill, AB 431, as they released the bill to the Assembly floor.

GamblingCompliance’s Chris Krafcik is reporting the bill will now enter a holding pattern until the legislature holds several scheduled online poker hearings in June and July.

Also on the radar

The National Council of Legislators from Gambling States (NCLGS) Conference in Atlantic City is slated for June 12-14, 2015. You can view the preliminary agenda for the event here.

New York’s online poker bill (S 5302) introduced by State Senator John Bonacic continues to sit untouched, with the last legislative update occurring on May 13 when it was introduced and referred to the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee.

A fourth online gaming bill is expected to be introduced in the Pennsylvania state senate by Senator Sean Wiley. Wiley’s bill appears to be part of a comprehensive budget plan designed to replace Governor Tom Wolf’s calls for increased taxation.

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