The State of Pennsylvania is currently considering legalizing online sports betting. This bill is the brainchild of State Rep. Rob Matzie, and if passed, will mean all licensed casinos across Pennsylvania can legally allow and regulate sports betting. This also includes major metropolis cities as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Some of the casinos that could be affected are:
- in Pittsburgh
- The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington County
- Lady Luck Casino at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Fayette County
So basically, you may soon be able to enter any of the above mentioned casinos and place real money wagers on sports such as baseball, football, etc.
The bill also addresses the gray area of legalizing online gambling. This will mean that online casinos that offer some great bonuses and promotional campaigns may soon to players from Pennsylvania too!
State Rep. Rob Matzie spoke to media personnel and made a statement wherein he expressed his concerns about how prohibition is not the way to go when it comes to sports betting. He continued to say that even though the law prohibits it, it does not actually mean in reality that sports betting is not taking place in the state. In fact, the prohibition is only making things worse since all sports betting that does happen now is illegal and unregulated. On the contrary, legalizing sports betting actually has several benefits as per State Rep. Matzie :
- Sports betting will be regulated
- Sports betting can now be taxed and the money generated can go towards things like healthcare, infrastructure, etc.
However, the hurdles that we talk about are on the federal level. As per the federal laws in effect currently, sports betting is only legal in the following states – Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana.
The current laws, articles and notes with regards to Gambling Laws in Pennsylvania can be looked up here.
Concurrently, there seems to be a nationwide push at this time for the legalization of sports betting across all or most states and this proposal could not have come at a better time. For baseball fans, this will mean being able to make wagers on baseball games. The American Baseball Institute could greatly benefit from the legalization, as could several other sports institutions.
What does President Trump think?
President Donald Trump has also looked into the matter and there is reason to believe that he may be in favor of the legalization. In an interview with Westwood One Radio on Super Bowl Sunday, Trump mentioned that his administration is looking closely at legalization of sports betting and are actually assessing all factors involved. He added that it is certainly not something that would be taken lightly. He reiterated that he would consider opinions from all of the top experts with regards to the pros and cons of legalization and will make an informed decision when the time comes. President Trump said he would consider opinions of commissioners of major sports leagues.
Sports leagues and fans have an opinion too
Many sports leagues have recently become more open and liberal towards the idea of legalization of sports betting. In fact, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, Rob Manfred, also issued a statement about the legalization of sports betting and said that they were reevaluating the consequences of the legalization and that talks with owners are currently ongoing.
Baseball fans and lovers of the sport that are not interested in the wagering side of it may not be very upbeat about the potential legalization because it may mean risk of corruption seeping into the game wherein players or umpires might start to “fix” games.
What lies ahead?
The next step is the bill making its way to the House Gaming Oversight Committee that will decide on the matter.
Sen Kim Ward and Sen. Jay Costa, two Western Pennsylvania state senators, are also currently working on other bill bill which seeks to make online casino gaming legal for anyone physically within the borders of Pennsylvania.
These states already have legalized online gambling:
- New Jersey
If approved, it will effectively make Pennsylvania the fourth and the largest state to legalize online gambling in the country. Like with the legalization of sports betting, the legalization of online gambling will also ensure that a multimillion dollar industry can be regulated and taxed.
The bill goes on to propose legalization of Daily Fantasy Sports betting which will mean that you can now make your own virtual baseball team and manage it. If you are any good at it, then you will also make a heap of money in the process. The bill seeks to allow gambling at airports and other non – casino websites too.