Just 2 short weeks after the launch of online gaming in the state of New Jersey, and a vote in New York allowing for more land based casinos, Pennsylvania is looking to get in on the action. A senate committee has passed a resolution for a study into whether regulated Pennsylvania gaming would be a good move for the state. It’s only been 9 years since the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act meant that casinos were allowed in the state and that bill was changed just a month ago allowing wagering to take place in social clubs and bars.
This is only the first step however, and as we have seen in Nevada and New Jersey there can be many hurdles along the way, but should the study meet its completion date of May 1st then this would mean that a proposal could be put together for next years budget. There has been no mention of the type of online gaming that would be acceptable in the state and whether they would go for online poker only as in Nevadas case or take a look at the whole offering of poker, slots and casino games as in New Jersey and Delaware. It is all about the money of course and Pennsylvania is looking at a deficit of $839 Million by June 2015 and many believe that the introduction of online gaming could ease that debt.
There will be heated debate in the state regarding this issue, of that there is no doubt and plenty of opposition is sure to come from Sheldon Adelson. Adelson is no stranger to shouting about the dangers of online gambling and the fact that his company, Las Vegas Sands owns the most popular casino resort in Pennsylvania, the Sands Resort Bethlehem means that he may have a big say in how things pan out. Although online gambling is now legal in Nevada, Adelson states that for moral reasons his company will not be taking part, and while many believe that he is simply trying to protect his wealth and his own interests he states that internet gambling opens the door to underage users.
There will be however many companies that would want online gaming in the state and Caesar’s Entertainment will be one of those as they already have a big interest in the new ventures in Nevada and New Jersey and will for sure be taking an interest in this move by Pennsylvania. There’s still plenty of time, and the study has yet to even start, however many observers see the path to online gambling in the state of Pennsylvania to be very rocky indeed.