Pennsylvania Lottery: Online Poker Bill Could Decimate Sales

16 December 2010

It looks like there is a lot of shots being fired of late over the possibility of a bill getting added to a must pass legislation that will legalize and regulate online poker in the United States. The bill is being pushed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and seems to have the backing of the U.S. casino industry.

Not everyone however is for this legislation and the Pennsylvania Lottery published a press release Wednesday offering their views as to why it should not get pushed through. Here is what they had to say:

Federal legislation to legalize Internet poker could decimate Pennsylvania Lottery sales, cut net profits that fund vital services for older adults and harm Lottery’s 8,700 business partners, Lottery Executive Director Ed Trees said today as he urged lawmakers to oppose the effort.

“The draft legislation – introduced by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and rumored to become attached to the bill extending federal tax cuts and unemployment benefits – would legalize Internet poker and create a new gaming industry, overturning a 2006 federal law that effectively prohibits online gambling,” Trees said in a letter distributed to lawmakers today.

“Online poker would negatively impact the local economies our retail partners support and directly threaten funding for programs that protect older Pennsylvanians’ independence, preserve their health and improve the quality of their lives,” Trees wrote.

Trees issued statements today to all Pennsylvania Congressional delegates, all members of the General Assembly and each of the commonwealth’s 52 Area Agencies on Aging. Additionally, as president of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL), Trees released a statement opposing the Reid bill nationally, on behalf of all U.S. Lotteries.

Now this is good news and bad news to those of us crossing our fingers something may get done this session. The bad news is obvious, they are against the bill but the good news is that it seems to be likely enough that the Pennsylvania Lottery deemed it important to get their views out there to as many people who would listen.

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