Preview of Thursday’s Pennsylvania Online Gambling Hearing

PA sealOn Thursday, May 1, the Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee will host an informational hearing on the potential impact of online gambling in the state.

The hearing comes one week before a report (SR 273) commissioned in December on the “current condition and future viability” of online gambling in the Keystone State is expected to be revealed on May 7th.

The hearing, requested by Rosita Youngblood (D-Philadelphia) who is the Democratic chairwoman of the House Gaming Oversight Committee, and Tina Davis (D-Bucks), is slated to run from 10 AM to about 12:30 PM, and is open to the public and media. The hearing will also be streamed live on the Internet.

Davis and Youngblood will act as co-chairs of the hearing, and will be joined by Representative Mike Sturla (D-Lancaster), along with 15 invited speakers.

A look at the 4 panels

There will be four separate panels covering a wide range of topics.

Many of the panelists have recently appeared at similar hearings in other states such as Massachusetts and California, such as Gambling Compliance’s James Kilsby, GeoComply’s Anna Sainsbury, and Doug Lewin of Optimal Payments.

The final panel will feature the Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance John Pappas, whose namesake Jim Pappas, the executive director for the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania will speak on Panel 2.

Interestingly, despite having specific interests in the state (the Sands Bethlehem Casino), Sheldon Adelson and the Las Vegas Sands will not have a presence at the hearing.

Here is a closer look at the four panels:

Panel 1: policy and regulatory issues
  • Kevin O’Toole, executive director, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
  • James Kilsby, managing director Americas, GamblingCompliance
  • Ewa Bakun, head of content-gaming, Clarion Events
  • Geoffrey Dixon, managing director, Vivid Interface Ltd.
Panel 2: social impact issues
  • Patty Aftab, a lawyer, founder and executive director, Wired Safety
  • Keith Whyte, executive director, National Council on Problem Gambling
  • Jim Pappas, executive director, Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania
Panel 3: technology and consumer protection issues
  • Peter Murray, head of gaming and consumer services, GB Group
  • Doug Lewin, executive vice president for strategic partnerships and development, Optimal Payments
  • Anna Sainsbury, founder and CEO, GeoComply
Panel 4: gaming industry issues
  • David Satz, senior vice president of government relations and development, Caesars Entertainment Corp.
  • Bob Green, chairman, Parx Casino and Racing
  • Schott Bohrer and Manu Gambhir, managing partners, Thrive Gaming
  • John Pappas, executive director, Poker Players Alliance
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