Though Pennsylvania hasn’t pulled the trigger on allowing online gambling, the state still wants the right to make up its own mind about it.
At least that’s the message that could be sent under a proposed resolution in the Pennsylvania State House in opposition to a bill in Congress to institute a federal ban on online gambling.
Congress is considering a bill to strengthen the federal Wire Act and stop individual states from enacting online gambling. The bill is seen as coming from the lobbying billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who is personally financing a drive for a national online gambling ban.
Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Sturla plans to introduce a resolution in the state House of Representatives opposing the federal ban saying he believes states should determine their own internet laws.
Sturla says the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is more than capable of overseeing online gambling and ensuring customer protection and preventing underage gambling.
“While we may not agree on the issue of internet gambling, the underlying point is we as elected representatives in this commonwealth have the right to debate this issue without undue restrictions from the federal government,” Sturla said.
Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill that would give Pennsylvania Lottery officials flexibility in setting odds and prizes—but would also impose restrictions on creation of online lottery games.
The bill, which has been sent to Governor Tom Corbett for his signature, would require approval of the General Assembly for any lottery plans to add new games like keno or internet games. Corbett is expected to sign the measure into law.
Better odds and prizes, the lottery has said, will spark additional interest in lottery games and increase sales. The new game clause, though, is designed to prevent lottery officials from unilaterally adding games, in particular online lottery games that eventually could lead to online casino games.