As mGamingWatch has been reporting of late, discussions about the potential for online poker and other casino-style games to raise significant funds for state governments are intensifying by the day.
The chairman of the state gambling board said that Pennsylvania lawmakers may wish to wait and see how New Jersey and Delaware fare with their new online gambling operations before they consider legalizing it.
Nevada, along with New Jersey and Delaware, are the first states in the nation to offer real-money online gambling. Delaware just recently launched and New Jersey is expected to by the end of November.
In 2004, Pennsylvania legalized casino gambling and has since become the largest casino state in the nation, second only to Nevada.
According to The Washington Post, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Chairman, Bill Ryan, said at the opening of a two-day conference on Internet Gambling:
“It’s not easy to do something like this in the state of Pennsylvania, partly because significant pockets of moral and religious opposition to gambling remain. I don’t see any real groundswell right now for Internet gaming.”
If lawmakers see that New Jersey and Delaware are making a lot of money, however, that could change. Officials at the conference, including Ryan, said that online poker and casino-style games are the ‘new frontier’ for states hungry for additional tax revenue. Online gambling legislation has been introduced in eight states. Ryan acknowledged that online gambling is a big deal.
However, there could be significant legal, regulatory, and technical hurdles to overcome, especially if states wish to allow online interstate gambling. According to panelists at the World Regulatory Briefing USA conference, that could trigger a federal response.