It’s ‘All Hands On Deck’ For Tuesday’s Important PA Online Gambling Hearing

Posted on March 6, 2017 - Last Updated on February 21, 2020

[toc]The Pennsylvania legislature is holding a hearing to talk about a gambling expansion in the state, with online gambling the main topic of conversation.

Judging by the list of witnesses who will attend, Tuesday’s hearing is being taken seriously by lawmakers.

PA hearing: Who will be there

The Senate Community, Economic & Recreational Development Committee and the House Gaming Oversight Committee will meet in a joint hearing this week.

Now we know who will be there, and how long lawmakers expect the hearing to take.

The answer to “How long?” is apparently two hours, as that’s the scheduled duration of the hearing.

Who will be there? Here’s the list:

  • Kevin O’Toole, Executive Director, PA Gaming Control Board
  • Doug Sherman, Chief Counsel, PA Gaming Control Board
  • David Cookson, ESQ, Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling
  • David Satz, Senior Vice President of Government Relations andDevelopment, Caesars Entertainment
  • Anna Sainsbury, Chief Executive Officer, GeoComply
  • Eric Pearson, Chief Executive Officer, Valley Forge Casino Resort
  • Donn Mitchell, Chief Administrative Officer, Isle of Capri Casinos
  • Bob Green, Chairman, Parx Casino
  • Anthony Ricci, Chief Executive Officer, Parx Casino
  • Richard Schwartz, President, Rush Street Interactive
  • Wendy Hamilton, General Manager, SugarHouse Casino
  • Nicholas Menas, Vice President of Corporate Development andGovernment Affairs, AMAYA
  • John Pappas, Executive Director, Poker Players Alliance
  • Paul Irvin, Associate, The Innovation Group
  • Ira Gubernick, Member of Cozen O’Connor on behalf of the Coalition for a Safe and Regulated Internet

What will they talk about at the PA gambling hearing?

Lots of matters will likely come up. But the main topic appears to be online gambling, and whether it should be legal and regulated in the state. Most of the witnesses are going to be friendly to online gambling, including the casino representatives that are appearing.

Key points lawmakers and witnesses are likely to address include:

  • Licensing fees and taxation rates for iGaming.
  • What kind of safeguards are in place for geolocation (making sure players are inside PA’s borders) and preventing minors from gambling, among other things.
  • The successes in New Jersey online gambling, and what regulators learned there that can help Pennsylvania moving forward.

Witness by witness on PA online gambling

What will we hear from the witnesses?

  • The PA Gaming Control Board witnesses will appear as neutral resources. But in the past, the PGCB indicated its willingness to regulate online gambling, and its confidence in being able to do.
  • The Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling will give the argument against online gambling legalization.
  • Everyone representing the casinos will indicate their desire to have legal PA online gambling. The only possible opponent, Sands Bethlehem, is not appearing. The casinos that are there will lobby for low fees and taxes, however.
  • GeoComply will give testimony about its services in geolocating online gamblers.
  • Innovation Group will give market projections.
  • Amaya — which owns PokerStars — and the Poker Players Alliance will advocate for online gambling, as well.
  • The Coalition for a Safe and Regulated Internet will push back against the idea that the federal government could move to ban online gambling.
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Dustin Gouker

Dustin Gouker has been a journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.

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