Poker News

Pennsylvania online poker bill seeks multi-state agreement by year-end

Pennsylvania has unveiled a significant advancement for online poker players, enabling them to legally compete against players from other states. The primary source for this development is the passage of House Bill 2078, which aims to legalize Pennsylvania as a member of the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA). Players in Pennsylvania may participate in cross-state poker tournaments and games by the conclusion of the year if the bill is approved.

Rep. George Dunbar sponsors House Bill 2078, which aims to permit the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to join the MSIGA. Currently, it includes Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, and West Virginia, enabling poker applications to pool games and tournaments across those states. In a recent interview with Dunbar, he stressed the significance of this legislation for poker players in Pennsylvania and the possible advantages of becoming a member of this compact.

Dunbar is ambiguous as to whether or not his bill was faring well or even worth considering at all. He has discussed it with both the majority leader and the Gaming Oversight chair, but as a member of the minority party, he has little to do to determine his party’s future. Nevertheless, he is hopeful that they will see the need to support the legislation and act accordingly. This development could mark a significant shift in the online poker landscape.

The Pennsylvania lawmakers have a limited time within which they will be making their decisions regarding the bill since the General Assembly session runs through November 30. The following five months will be critically decisive in the future of the bill and, if passed, will provide a window for Pennsylvania to join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA). This would significantly increase the number of players and enhance the gaming possibilities for poker players in the state.

On May 7, a group of poker lovers in Pennsylvania formed a campaign in collaboration with PokerNews and known as #GrowPAPoker. The goal of this campaign was to remind the public about HB 2078 and encourage people to support its enactment. The campaign encouraged players to share messages in support of the campaign with state representatives and the governor, Shapiro, via social media.

This bill’s implications have enormous potential. If the bill is passed, Pennsylvania’s poker fans will compete against counterparts from other states, who have the opportunity to offer more comprehensive guarantees and a more active regulated internet poker market. Rep. Dunbar was optimistic about the bill, saying that if it ever goes through the budget and the governor signs it, Pennsylvania could join the multi-state compact reasonably soon.

PokerStars was among the first operators to launch online poker in the Pennsylvania jurisdiction in November 2019, with other operators such as BetMGM Poker, Borgata Poker, and soon entering the market. The MSIGA expansion to Pennsylvania would increase competitiveness and make it easier for players from different states to play games and tournaments.

Rep. Dunbar saw this bill as a chance for Pennsylvania poker players to compete with other states, not an increase in gambling. According to him, this will only allow PA poker players to compete with players from other states and win higher tournament prizes.

While the Pennsylvania Legislature debates HB 2078, poker players are optimistic about the state joining the MSIGA. This would revolutionize online poker by allowing participants from other states to compete.

Michael Grant

Michael writes news articles covering covering whole casino industry. He is passionate about online poker games. He regularly contributes in-depth news stories regarding casino industry and legislations.

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