Pennsylvania's House Gaming Oversight Committee held hearings this week to discuss the benefits and pitfalls of online gambling, and the results are much more favorable for potential passage due to the discussion.
The committee brought in several people associated with online gaming, who gave professional testimony to the politicians in attendance. Representatives from Caesars, GLI, GeoComply, Penn national Gaming, Spectrum Gaming were in attendance, as was Sheldon Adelson's anti-online gaming lackey Andy Abboud.
Abboud actually ended up facing a bit of an embarrassing moment during the hearing, when he was asked about how Las Vegas Sands (Adelson's casino) could be against online gaming if they offer mobile gaming at the Venetian. Other questions pertained to underage gambling and Las Vegas Sands' previous penalties for allowing underage gaming in Nevada as well as the casino's money laundering settlement with the US government. Those pointed questions stabbed at the heart of many of Adelson's complaints on internet gaming, as the billionaire claims that the activity allows for underage players to get in on the action, that gambling can't be contained within borders, and that online betting makes money laundering easy to pull off.
Abboud's buffoonery was pounced on by Poker Players Alliance Executive Director John Pappas, who said, "I am not sure who Las Vegas Sands is trying to fool. Their Pennsylvania casino has been fined numerous times for allowing underage children to wager and they actively promote mobile casino gaming and sports betting at their Nevada properties."
The hearing focused on the benefits of Representative John Payne's HB649 bill, and is the first of two meetings set on the topic. Earlier this week state legislators passed a bill that would allow for the Keystone State to allow online betting, even if a federal redetermination of the Wire Act passes through Congress.
Casino Listings will update this story as more developments arise.