Online gambling isn’t on the legislature’s front burner in Pennsylvania — at least not yet — but a recent report made it clear that it’s still on the minds of those in the state’s gaming industry.
Rivers, high on online gaming?
We already knew that most of the land-based casino industry in Pennsylvania is generally behind an effort to legalize and regulate online gaming in the state. (That excludes the Sheldon Adelson-owned Sands Bethlehem, as he is a long-time opponent of iGaming.)
But a story at Trib Live reiterated the idea that some land-based gaming interests are still bullish on the idea of online gambling regulation actually happening in the state.
From the story:
“There is talk of sports betting. There is talk of online gaming,” AGA CEO Geoff Freeman said. “It’s an important conversation to have.”
Rivers General Manager Craig Clark said he would welcome expansions into both areas.
“The more products you can have, and a broad mix of products, the more complete facility you have. The more people you can attract,” said Clark, who noted 4.6 million people visit Rivers each year.
The casino already has a strategy in place for online gambling, should state lawmakers ever legalize it, Clark said.
While it’s not clear exactly that plan might be, Rivers Casino, via parent company Rush Street Gaming, is one of many casinos that already has plans in motion on Pennsylvania online gaming.
What’s going on with the online gambling bill?
The last we had heard on Pennsylvania iGaming, the issue would come up as part of the same gaming expansion that gained traction in the fall sometime this spring.
Of course, it’s now officially spring, and the only action taken regarding HB 649 was a procedural motion to keep it as active legislation.
Earlier this year, the main sponsor of the legislation, Rep. John Payne, said online gambling would be legalized by July.
Is that a pie-in-the-sky prediction, or could it still happen in that quick timeframe? Clearly, casinos like Rivers and others in the state are ready to go if that does happen.