The State of Pennsylvania will conduct a study in online gaming as part of its investigation of legalized online gambling.
A request for a study was put forward by two chairs of the House Gaming Oversight Committee during a scheduled hearing. The hearing covered topics such as policy regulation, social impact, consumer protection, and technology. The hearing successfully introduced the idea of potential online gambling legislation which would also legalize online poker to parliament.
State Representatives Tina Davis and Rosita Youngblood based their proposal around the need to understand the impact that online gaming would have in Pennsylvania. The representatives’ aim was to understand how States where online gambling is legal are managing the new industry. Their discussions focused on online poker in particular, but general concerns such as online safety were mentioned. According to Youngblood, the main purpose of the hearing was not only to examine States such as New Jersey and Nevada, but also to initiate serious discussion and set up a forum for representatives to discuss the matter and provide useful information on the issue.
Also involved in the talks is the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). The Board’s Executive Director Kevin O’Toole told the press that legalized gambling would be an extension of the State’s current online gaming provisions. Further proposals would fall under the leadership of the Governor’s office and the Pennsylvania General Assembly. While the PGCB regulates the State’s twelve casino operators, it has no say with online gaming, except for regulated activity. The PGCB will also review the online gambling industry in New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada.
And the Committee also heard the testimony given by problem gambling help groups such as the National Council on Problem Gambling. Industry experts from Optimal Payments and GeoComply, Caesars, and the Poker Players Alliance were also present.
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