There was positive news coming from Pennsylvania regarding regulated online gambling in the state as the House Gaming Oversight Committee this week heard from online gaming professionals as to the benefits, and the safety of casino gaming online. There was also a sense of politicians working together to create a better outcome and as the hearing tended to focus on Bill HB649 that was put forward by John Payne, both Nick Miccarelli and Tina Davis, who have both proposed bills of their own, co-sponsored Paynes bill, hoping that this would assist in moving things forward, and there are a few states that would do well to follow that example.
This was the first of two meetings that are taking place where nothing but factual evidence and professional opinion will be listened to, unlike in Congress recently at the RAWA hearing that was massively bias against online gambling. RAWA is of course being backed by Sheldon Adelson who is doing his best to ban online gambling in the states where it has already been licensed and regulated, and he had a representative in Pennsylvania for this hearing, however it didn’t go exactly as planned.
Andy Abboud who represents Adelson's Las Vegas Sands Casino gave the same old arguments against online gambling stating that ‘a casino in every pocket’ is not a good thing, however he was promptly shot down by participants of the hearing who pointed out that the company he works for actually promotes mobile casino gaming at their property in Las Vegas. When he stated that it was almost impossible to block underage gamblers from online gaming, he was further embarrassed when reminded of the amount of fines that had been imposed on them for allowing underage gambling on their premises.
The argument against all that Abboud said was neatly put by John Pappas, head of the Poker Players Alliance when he stated that, “I am not sure who Las Vegas Sands is trying to fool. Their Pennsylvania casino has been fined numerous times for allowing underage children to wager and they actively promote mobile casino gaming and sports betting at their Nevada properties.”
Security was covered by Gaming Labs International who again ran the rule over Abbous regarding fraud and ID verification, stating that the technology used by many online casinos meant that they probably knew their customers better than land based casinos, and GeoComply representative Lindsay Slater said that they could now offer such a high level of compliance that they could tell the difference between two people playing in an online casino on different sides of a coffee shop.
All said the hearing was positive for online gambling in the state of Pennsylvania and with another one penned in for March things are most certainly looking good.