The state senate on Tuesday introduced a bill that would legalize online poker. The bill, sponsored by lawmakers Sen. Bob Mensch and Sen. Edwin Erickson, would make it legal to participate in interactive poker with other Pennsylvania residents as well as those from states where online gambling is legal.
“Developments in technology and recent legal decisions have created an opportunity to legalize interactive poker as a means to further enhance and complement the benefits delivered by casino gaming, licensed facilities and the communities in which they operate,” the bill reads.
In May, the General Assembly's Legislative Budget and Finance Committee released a report that said internet gambling could produce significant tax revenue for the Keystone State. If legalized, online gambling could generate as much as $68 million in tax revenue the first year alone, the study said.
The report, prepared by Econsult Solutions Inc., of Philadelphia, states internet gambling could generate as much as $110 million annually without jeopardizing the success of the state’s casino industry, Philly.com reported.
Internet gambling is currently illegal but not punishable in Pennsylvania.