Friday, June 14, 2024

New Pennsylvania Gambling Bill To Unite Poker Players In Legal States

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Pennsylvania online poker players will legally be able to play games and enter tournaments with poker app gamblers in other legal states “before the end of the year” if House Bill 2078 becomes law. 

HB 2078 would authorize the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to add the state to the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement

According to a Bonus.com email interview with Rep. George Dunbar from June 6, the measure would authorize the state’s gaming regulator to add Pennsylvania to the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA). 

MSIGA’s current member states are Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, and West Virginia. The agreement allows apps to share game and tournament traffic across state lines. 

Online gambling operators then make the final decision about whether to provide operations. 

“I truly have no idea when or if my bill will move. I have made sure that both the majority leader and majority chair of Gaming Oversight are aware of it,” Dunbar said. 

“It is not something that I, as a member of the minority party, have much sway over. I am hopeful that they can see the need and move forward with the legislation.”

The Pennsylvania Legislature has the next five months to consider the online poker bill. The Pennsylvania General Assembly will remain in session until Nov. 30.

Poker players advocated for the bill on May 7

“If the bill moves during the budget process and the governor signs off on joining the multi-state compact, PA poker players can be playing against players from other states relatively fast. I’m sure before the end of the year,” Dunbar added. 

PokerStars debuted as the first Pennsylvania online poker operator on Nov. 4, 2019. Three others later joined the marketplace: BetMGM Poker, Borgata Poker, and WSOP.com.

On May 7, PokerNews joined forces with Pokerfuse.com and poker players all across the Keystone State in an advocacy #GrowPAPoker campaign to promote the inclusion of Pennsylvania in the MSIGA. 

Poker players were encouraged to share this text on X: 

“Please support HB 2078 to bring shared liquidity to Pennsylvania and #GrowPApoker! @GovernorShapiro @RepBradford @RepDunbar @RepRozzi @russdiamond @PAGamingControl @pokerfuse @pokernews”

The online community’s effort was made to help convince Pennsylvania lawmakers to support the bill. 

“I do not view this legislation as a large expansion of gaming. This will just provide PA poker players the opportunity to compete with players from other states, potentially resulting in large tournament payouts,” Dunbar said.

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