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Online Gambling News From Pennsylvania And Washington

By: Joan Peppin, Tuesday April 2nd 2013
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In recent weeks all the online gambling news from American states has come from Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. But there are other states at the crossroads of legalizing online gambling and the latest news items are from Pennsylvania and Washington.

Representative Tina Davis is the driver of online gambling legislation in the state of Pennsylvania. She introduced her bill in the House, but surprisingly withdrew it immediately. The reasons cited were “further work and discussion with various interested parties”. Later Davis appeared on Pennsylvania Cable Network in an interview with Francine Schertzer on the political program “On The Issues”. There Davis said that her bill would be re-introduced within the next two weeks and also clarified some other points.

Online gambling licenses would be issued exclusively to existing Pennsylvanian land operators, but at a hefty price. The license fee would be $40 million plus and a gross gaming revenue tax rate of 45% would apply. Davis acknowledged that these rates were high but were subject to debate and discussion in the legislature. The bill does not contain any provision for interstate compacts like the laws passed in other states. The reason is that the 12 million strong Pennsylvanian population is believed to have sufficient liquidity on its own. Davis also clarified that she had held discussions with Representative Paul Clymer, who has declared that he will introduce a bill seeking to ban online gambling in the state. No agreement was reached between the two. Davis said a state Senator was also considering a bill that would complement her own, but did not name the Senator. Davis concluded by averring that it was important for Pennsylvania to legalize and regulate intrastate online gambling, especially as it was gathering momentum in other US states.

Washington State has the most draconian anti online gambling laws as compared to any other state in the US. Poker player Curtis Woodward had submitted two voter proposals to the Code Reviser, seeking language approval for measures designed to nullify the anti online gambling laws and legalize the activity. Otherwise to lessen the severe C-class felony penalties that the state can currently impose on online gamblers. The Code Reviser has returned the proposal clearing the way for Woodward and his associates to take on the state’s anti online gambling laws. Woodard plans to lobby Washington state politicians using social networking and move a petition urging the state legislature to make the necessary changes, suggest alternatives or in the very least let the measures go to the annual state ballot of voters in November 2013. Woodard welcomes volunteers willing to assist in this mission.

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