Thursday April 23,2015 : FOURTH ONLINE GAMBLING BILL LAUNCHED IN PENNSYLVANIA
Legislative pressure mounts as a counter measure to legalization bills is introduced to the House.
The already charged online gambling legalization environment in Pennsylvania was further stimulated this week when Representative Thomas Murt introduced a fourth bill to the state House; the difference with this one is that it opposes and seeks to halt legislative attempts to legalise the genre.
Murt's HB 1013 proposes a blanket online gambling ban in the state, and has picked up seven co-sponsors thus far. Whilst hardly a threat at present, it is a disappointing distraction from the other more positive bills on the same topic that are currently on the legislative agenda
Observers have noted that the newcomer is little more than a clone of measure HB 1404 submitted by Representative Paul Clymer two years ago which failed to make it out of committee.
The Murt bill is highly restrictive on regulators, prohibiting them from dafting regulations for online gambling, and on players and operators, forbidding play or offering online gaming.
In a more positive development, this week saw a Pennsylvanian Senator Jay Costa indicate he had an open mind and was prepared to look at online gambling if and when it reaches the Senate. Costa, who is a Democrat, made the statement during the course of a more wide-ranging political press conference.
Rep. John Payne's legalization bill HB 649 remains the current favourite to pass.