he bill is now on the back burner but will be considered further next year, staffers said. The online gaming measure will be reviewed along with the state’s pension issue, official sources say.
The poker community was anticipating a vote on the legalization of online gambling in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives last week, but it never came.
With the fairly easy passage of the bill in committee, it looked like there was an excellent change it would succeed when put to a vote in front of the entire House.
The vote was slated for last Wednesday, but was pushed to Thursday after some debate and discussion of amendments. But with state lawmakers unable to come to agreements on the months-late state budget, the HB 649 vote was put on the backburner.
Part of House Republicans’ strategy to bring in revenue is online gambling. Rep. Payne estimated that a legal, regulated online gambling regime would provide $120 million annually for the state. On top of that, there would be a flat licensing fee of $5 million for each operator, so the state could immediately see at least a small cash infusion, relative to the total budget.