Yesterday, on the floor of the state House of Representatives, two amendments to Pennsylvania’s gambling laws (aiming online poker legalization) went to a vote and were both rejected.
However, immediately afterwards both amendments were voted for reconsideration. So, this means there will be another hearing as soon as possible, maybe even before the end of the week.
Confusing, isn’t it? It seems it was a case of mistaken identity. We will get back to this later.
Even though both bills aim to legalize online poker, the bill A7619, proposed by Representative John Payne has the most chance to succeed. Amendment A7622 is similar but includes also the expansion of VGTs (Video Gaming Terminals) beyond casinos, a subject that is not popular in political circles.
Initially, there was a concern that internet bill A7619 was linked with the unpopular VGT legislation, which could hinder the process. However, when the two amendments (A7619 and A7622) were presented separately, there was a sense of relief since this could give bill A7619 a greater chance of passing.
On the docket, Payne was listed, erroneously, as author of the two amendments, even though the representative only supported bill A7619 and even voted against bill A7622, the VGT-friendly bill.
The author of bill A7622 is actually Representative Mark Mustio and it was clearly a mistake. As a result of this confusion an unknown number of supporters of the bill A7622 voted against it because they thought it was Payne’s bill. In an effort to force the reconsideration, these same House members voted also against Payne’s bill.
There is a possibility Payne’s amendment will be passed by the House, if the VGT amendment would be defeated. However, it will be close.