(Estimated population as of 2013 — 12,773,801)
Pennsylvania was one of the biggest moves and shakers in the iGaming world in 2014. Back in June, the state held a hearing that suggested most casino interests were in favor of iGaming. In fact, 10 of the state’s 12 casino properties had representatives at the hearing, and only Andy Abboud (a Sheldon Adelson crony) from Las Vegas Sands was opposed.
In addition to the hearing, Sen. Kim Ward, chair of the Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee, ordered an iGaming study, which revealed Internet gaming could generate $184 million for the state in its first year, with online poker making up to $77 million.
Rep. Tina Davis introduced a bill to the house in early 2014, but one remained absent from the senate. Meanwhile, both Sen. Edwin Erickson and Rep. Nicholas Miccarelli introduced poker-only bills.
“Pennsylvania is now presented with a second opportunity to be at the forefront of gaming by taking a leadership role with the expansion of online gaming,” said Bob Pickus of Valley Forge Casino Resort.
With so many gaming interests – including Caesars and Parx Casino and Racing – it’s no surprise Pennsylvania is in the thick of things. They’re watching New Jersey reap the benefits of iGaming, and it only makes sense that they’d want a piece of the pie.
Interestingly, a recent study by Morgan Stanley Research predicts the “Keystone State” will approve a poker-only bill in 2016 and offering iGaming in 2017. They also predict California, New York, and Illinois as states to legalize iGaming by 2016.
“We remain bullish on the long-term opportunity for U.S. online gaming,” Morgan Stanley states.
For more, check out Matthew Kredell’s piece Is Pennsylvania Ready to Move Forward with Internet Gambling?