Pennsylvania House Gaming Oversight Committee is awaited to vote on a bill which would decriminalize online poker scene in the state. It has been suggested that the vote will take place later today or later on Wednesday, as per John Pappas, the Poker Player Alliance Executive Director.
John Payne, the Republican State Representative, who is also the Chairman of the Gaming Oversight Committee, brought in HB 649 in early 2015 and has been working hard to
legalize online gaming in the state as a means to bridge a spread in the state budget and also protect consumers from unscrupulous offshore operators.
Mr John also thinks that online poker might stop money from Pennsylvania people funding ISIS. Many hearings to talk about online gaming in the state have been recently called off without any explanation. The fact that John is awaited to bring his bill up for a committee vote appears to suggest that he thinks that it has got a lot of support to pass.
A friendly consequence would move the bill to House floor for a vote. If it goes through a full House vote, it might go on to Senate where a friendly vote would give the bill to Governor Tom Wolf to turn it into a law.
Meanwhile, the state is now in the middle of a budget crisis which might offer great news for online poker players. For around 5 months, legislators have been unable to present the governor with an acceptable budget proposal. And while the stalemate continues, online gaming has been bandied about as a possible component of a compromise.