Pennsylvania has a $2.3 billion budget deficit. Neighboring states are increasing casino competition. These two things have brought Representatives Payne and Hershey to the decision that online gambling may be a way to gain tax funds to help with the deficit. It was recently reported that some legislators have concerns and questions about opening the state’s doors to online gaming. As of now, only Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have laws in place allowing online casinos to operate. Worries that only one or two companies will be able to make money from online gambling is holding lawmakers back according to some assessments. Security concerns have also delayed moving any bills forward.
Gamblers are likely to use mobile devices as well as home computers, but the security systems vary greatly on these methods od access. Additional worries over Pennsylvania land casinos becoming harder to operate – based on lack of casino visitor’s – increases opposition from individuals like Andy Abboud. He is a senior executive for Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino and Las Vegas Sands. LVS owns Sands Bethlehem. Abboud uses stage props such as his cell phone when testifying against online casino legalization. His ultimate employer is multi-billionaire, Sheldon Adelson who has said he would, ‘…stop at nothing,’ to ensure that online gambling is never legalized in the US.
Andy Abboud told Ralston Reports in January 2014 that he is actively preparing to “block legalization state by state.” “We are prepared to mount full campaigns in every state where a bill is introduced to legalize any form of online gaming,” Abboud is also quoted as saying. “We will also be doing education in all states to prevent the introduction of any bills.” He added, “We are going to make it ‘the plague.'”
Pending bills that have been reviewed in Pennsylvania can be found on the legiscan website: Pending Pennsylvania House Gaming Oversight Committee