News

Pennsylvania Legislators Pass Resolution Calling on Congress to Reject Online Gaming Ban

April 14, 2015

Legislators send a clear message to Washington that a ban would hinder economic growth at home and undermine Pennsylvania’s right to regulate gaming

(Harrisburg, PA) Today, the Pennsylvania House Gaming Oversight Committee voted to pass a resolution urging the United States Congress to defeat the “Restoration of America’s Wire Act” legislation, H.R. 707, and asking the Pennsylvania congressional delegation to oppose the bill. More than ten state legislators were cosponsors on the bipartisan resolution, General Assembly of Pennsylvania H.R. 140, which overwhelmingly passed in the Committee on Gaming Oversight in the Pennsylvania State Assembly by 18 to 8. Both the Republican and Democratic Chair of the Committee on Gaming Oversight, Rep. John Payne (R) and Rep. Nick Kotik (D), are cosponsors of the resolution.

The resolution states that a federal ban on online gaming would “directly and negatively impact Pennsylvania by foreclosing the future potential of Internet gaming to generate tax revenue, to create economic and employment opportunities, including high-tech software jobs, and to foster valuable business ventures for Pennsylvania casinos.” It further highlights the fact that a federal ban would hurt consumers by precluding “the Commonwealth’s ability to create a legitimate online gaming industry within its borders, [and] drive illegal operators out of business.”

Currently, the United States Congress is debating Sheldon Adelson’s bill, an ill-advised piece of legislation that would implement a sweeping nationwide ban on online gaming that would trump individual states’ ability to implement a well-regulated state based system. This legislation would not only trample on states who currently have safe and regulated online gaming programs, but also make for an unsafe, unregulated online environment and push players to black-market sites.

H.R. 140 further notes that Pennsylvania has been on the forefront of ensuring safe and well-regulated gaming systems, and highlights the fact that “over the course of our nation’s history, state governments, not the Federal Government, have determined what forms of gambling should be legal or illegal within their borders and, if legal, how gambling should be regulated or controlled.”

Today, Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection (C4COP) spokesperson Alison Siciliano, said, “Again and again individuals and states are coming together across partisan divides to preserve the constitutionally-mandated right to make decisions impacting the strength of our local economies. Today’s resolution urging Congress to reject an online gaming ban is a clear statement from one body of representatives to another that Pennsylvania should be allowed to make decisions in the best interests of the state and that includes the opportunity to form a safe and well-regulated online gaming industry. We thank these legislators for asking that states maintain the responsibilities that they have exercised so capably for generations.”

You can read the full text of the resolution here.

To learn more about the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection visit our website at www.c4cop.com.