Wednesday March 4,2015 : ANOTHER LEGALISATION BILL INTRODUCED IN PENNSYLVANIA
Rep. Miccarelli's HB695 wants online poker legalised.
Keeping the political pot boiling in Pennsylvania this week, Representative Nick Miccarelli has re-introduced his online poker legalization bill, which failed to make it in 2014.
Now titled HB695, the bill reportedly has the same content as the original, although that has yet to be confirmed by full publication.
If that is the case, then there is no provision for interstate player pool sharing compacts but, importantly, it does have "bad actor" clauses based on pre-UIGEA illegal activity as an exclusionary licence condition.
In a letter to his House of Assembly colleagues appealing for support for the bill, Miccarelli wrote early February:
"In the near future, I will be re-introducing my legalization from the previous session (HB2297) that would authorize Interactive Gaming in the form of online poker.
"A recent study from the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee found that Internet Gaming is a large new source of revenue that the Commonwealth could explore. This means more revenue to assist in the reduction of real estate taxes.
"This bill will only authorize Internet Poker. Poker is unlike banking games in many respects that make it best for the introduction of interactive gaming. Poker operators are not participants in the games and are indifferent as to the outcome.
"Additionally, many Pennsylvania residents participate in illegal and unregulated poker sites. Establishing a strong regulatory framework under the Gaming Control Board will assist in shutting down these illegal sites and enhance consumer protection for our gaming residents.
"Specifically this bill will do the following:
- Require all internet poker to be conducted under the current gaming licensees.
- Require a licensing fee of $5 million per license.
- Tax all gross interactive gaming revenue at 14 percent
- Includes a Bad Actor Language which would exclude those who violated the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006."
- The bill has not yet been allocated to a House committee.