HARRISBURG (News Radio 1020 KDKA) – State lawmakers have reopened debate on an issue that confounded them in their last two-year session: expanding forms of gambling in Pennsylvania, including internet gaming.
Lawmakers have yet to enact legislation to allow for more gaming, despite revenues from it being anticipated in the current fiscal year, and even more being part of the governor’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year.
This past week, lawmakers tackled the issue anew with a joint House/Senate Committee hearing. The new chairman of one of those panels, the House Gaming Oversight Committee, is Republican Scott Petri, whose predecessor conducted a seemingly endless series of hearings on the issue in the last session.
“The goal is not to have as many hearings as my former colleague who’s sitting in the audience had – I think you broke the record and we want to leave it that way,” says Petri.
Petri says the gaming landscape has changed since lawmakers’ last session.
“Number one, you have a new federal administration. You have this scuttlebutt all around the Capitol about whether iGaming is going to be disallowed,” says Petri.
In particular, he cites comments by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions that cast doubt on the future legality of internet gaming.