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Tax Rate Issue Could Be Stumbling Block for iPoker in Pennsylvania

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As Pennsylvania continues to discuss the specifics of an online gaming framework in the state, a new bill and continued debate over proposed tax rates have taken center stage.

On April 4, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passedH 271, which legalizes tablet gaming in airports. Although this bill only authorizes tablet gaming, legislators see this as their path to becoming the fourth state to legalize online gaming since 2013.

New AG Jeff Sessions Apparently Considering New Online Gaming Ban

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions is considering a ban on online gaming.

During his confirmation hearing in early January, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he’d be open to revisiting the Justice Department’s interpretation of the Wire Act, which allowed states the opportunity to legalize online gaming.

Just three months later, it appears Sessions may be following through with that intention.

Within the past two weeks, the National Governors Association and the Poker Players Alliance have publicly expressed their opposition to any move from Sessions that could ban online gaming or internet lottery sales.

West Virginia Online Gaming Bill Unlikely to Gain Approval in 2017

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West Virginia lawmakers have taken the first step towards legalizing online poker – but don’t expect them to take the second any time soon.

West Virginia is the seventh state to introduce online gaming legislation in 2017, but with the legislative session winding down – it ends in just two weeks – the proposal from Del. Shawn Fluharty isn’t expected to garner enough support in 2017.

Instead, it should be seen as a conversation starter for online gaming in the state moving forward.

Fluharty, a Democrat, recently introduced House Bill 3067, a bill that would allow West Virginia’s five casinos to offer online gaming.

Lawmaker Confident Pennsylvania Will Approve Online Gaming by May

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Rep. George Dunbar is one of the key figures in pushing online poker regulation forward in Pennsylvania (photo supplied)

As the Pennsylvania legislature continues to consider the prospects of online gaming, the sponsor of the House bill to legalize iGaming remains confident.

Rep. George Dunbar, who has sponsored online gaming legislation in each of the past two years, described the process as being similar to “pushing a rock up a mountain” at times, but the work to legalize online gaming in the Keystone State is almost complete.

“I still believe that by the end of May this will be done,” said Dunbar. “I really believe that all things are in place right now. The ball solely rests in the Senate’s hands.”

How to Make Yourself Heard in the Push for Online Poker Regulation

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Online poker players need to be heard in states considering online poker legislation and we show you how.

2017 is shaping up to be an exciting year for the prospects of online poker as three states – Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania – are all taking steps to legalize online poker.

Meanwhile, a handful of other states, including California, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, are considering online gaming legislation, although they have not progressed as far as the others.

Reggie Jones-Sawyer Introduces New Online Poker Bill in California

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California could become the next state to regulate online poker if Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer can get his bill advanced.

California online poker players have been down this road before. Over the last decade, the state has debated the merits of legalizing online poker, but each year efforts have come up short leaving players out in the cold.

In 2017, it appears legislators are once again ready to give legalizing online poker a shot after California Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer introduced the Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act late last week.

New York Seems Poised to Pass Online Poker Regulation in 2017

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New York Senator John Bonacic (foreground) and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (background) have teamed up to push online poker legislation in New York State.

While no state has legalized iGaming since 2013, New York joins Pennsylvania as a state prepared to do so in 2017.

New York Sen. John Bonacic and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow have introduced identical legislation – S03898 and A05250 – in the New York Senate and Assembly that would redefine poker as a game of skill rather than a game of chance.

By doing so, state lawmakers would allow the state’s gaming commission to craft regulations for legalizing online poker – this is similar to the approach legislators took last year in legalizing daily fantasy sports.

New Bill Proposes Nevada Lower Legal Gambling Age to 18

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The Las Vegas strip could soon be full of players as young as 18 if one Nevada lawmaker has his way.(Wikipedia photo)

A bill introduced in the Nevada Assembly proposes the state lower the legal gambling age from 21 to 18, but gaming officials are quick to push back on such a change.

Republican Assemblyman Jim Wheeler submitted the proposal, Assembly Bill 86, at the request of a constituent when Nevada’s legislative session opened Monday. When this proposal comes in front of the State Assembly’s Judiciary Committee in the coming weeks, Wheeler said he’s not sure what to expect in terms of the reception from his colleagues.

Support Growing in Pennsylvania for Online Gaming Regulation

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Sen. Mario Scavello believes an iGaming bill could pass in Pennsylvania this year.

Momentum is building in Pennsylvania for the passing of an online gaming expansion bill in 2017.

After iGaming legislation passed in the state’s House of Representatives in 2016, the action stalled in the Senate, as they didn’t take up the issue. This year, though, Senate members are already discussing a framework for iGaming legislation.

Sen. Mario Scavello, chairman of the critical Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee, recently told the Tribune-Review that he expects an iGaming bill to pass the House and Senate in March.

Jeff Sessions Open to Revisiting Key Wire Act Interpretation

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Jeff Sessions might be bad news for regulated online gaming in the United States.

In the confirmation hearing this week regarding Sen. Jeff Sessions’ appointment as Attorney General, a brief exchange between Sessions and Sen. Lindsey Graham piqued the interest of the online poker world.

Early in the eight-hour confirmation hearing, Graham asked Sessions for his thoughts on the Department of Justice’s 2011 interpretation of the Wire Act, which allows states to license and regulate online poker, lotteries, and other casino games on the Internet.

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