Pennsylvania

In the coming weeks, Representative Nicholas Miccarelli (R-Delaware) will introduce a bill to regulate online poker in the state of Pennsylvania.

Miccarelli’ announcement marks the second such in as many weeks as Pennsylvania State Senator Edwin Erickson (R-Chester) released a similar message indicating that he would also introduce a bill to regulate online poker late last week.

The memorandums posted on the Pennsylvania Legislation web site announcing the legislators’ intentions are nearly identical prompting many to believe the efforts are coordinated and will result in companion bills being introduced in each house of the legislature.

A draft of Erickson’s bill was released and is available on OnlinePokerReport.com.

The released version includes a bad actor clause that would prevent both people and assets involved in offering unauthorized wagers to persons within the US after December 31, 2006.

In addition to criminal penalties for those that offer online gaming without a license, players that engage in unlicensed igaming will have their proceeds of that gaming subject to forfeiture and donated to the Compulsive and Problem Gambling Treatment Fund.

Taxes proposed on igaming are 14% of Gross Gaming Revenue.

The player fund protection provision aims to shelter players from the risk of “corporate insolvency, financial risk or criminal or civil actions against the licensee” by requiring playing funds to be segregated from the funds of the licensees.

A hearing by the Pennsylvania Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee (CERD) discussing the findings of an online gaming study commissioned by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee is currently underway and is expected to last most of the day.