Wolf: 'I Don't Know' When PA Online Poker Will Be Legalized

Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf: ‘Real Work’ Is Being Done On Online Poker, Gambling

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Gov. Tom Wolf talked about the possibility of legal online gambling in Pennsylvania recently in an online question-and-answer session.

What Wolf said about PA online gambling

Wolf was answering questions during a Facebook Live Q&A. Many of the questions focused on the state budget and how to combat a growing deficit.

The final question, however, came from the Poker Players Alliance.

A representative of the PPA asked Wolf when online poker would be legalized and regulated in the state. While Wolf said “I don’t know” to the direct question, here was the rest of his answer:

I think there is real work being done in the General Assembly as to what enhanced gambling — including online gambling, including possibly online poker — would look like moving forward.

The deal is that whatever we do on this enhanced gaming, it should not take business away from our casinos or the lottery. Otherwise why would we do it? Because we’re already getting revenues from that. It should be something that could be implemented cleanly, and the oversight we could do without being really that intrusive.

There are a lot of details that have to go into this. I know other states have done online poker and have done it successfully. We need to keep learning from what we can from those states.

You can watch his comments here:

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Reading between the lines on Wolf and PA online gambling

Wolf said very little of consequence here, in reality, mostly dancing around the question.

What he did do is demonstrate at least a passing understanding that online gambling is a part of talks regarding gambling and the budget. He also didn’t dismiss the possibility that online poker and gambling would be legalized in the state.

Wolf’s comments line up with his proposed budget, which includes $250 million in revenue over the next year and a half from changes to PA gambling law. That sort of revenue is pretty much impossible without the legalization of iGaming.

The latest on PA online gambling

The state legislature is attempting to line up a joint committee hearing for the House and Senate regarding a package of gambling provisions (online gambling included).

One of several anticipated gaming packages has already surfaced in the state legislature.

Several other issues stand as possible roadblocks for progress on online gambling. That includes the contentious issue of video gaming terminals at private establishments, outside of casinos or other gaming facilities.

- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner. He has played poker recreationally for his entire adult life and has written about poker since 2008.
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