Online poker proposal in Pennsylvania pondered

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A report recently published on triblive.com said investment firm Morgan Stanley Research released a study on Sept. 10 predicting Pennsylvania will approve a bill in 2016 and have virtual cards flying for online poker by 2017.

In addition, MSR also predicts the first year’s revenue will be $58 million and increase to almost $390 million by the end of the fourth year, that about 11 percent of Pennsylvania residents will play online and there will be 20 states with legal online poker by 2020 with an online gambling market of $5 billion.

MSR said these numbers come from looking at how other markets have grown their online poker revenues since going live.

For instance, New Jersey has seen revenues of more than $92 million since online gaming was approved in 2013.

And when Italy approved PokerStars to enter its market, revenue grew 62 percent in one year, half of which was from the PokerStars site. It’s hard for lawmakers to turn their noses up at these types of numbers when most states’ coffers are hurting for money these days.

WEST VIRGINIA: The Charleston Daily Mail recently reported the state’s lottery commission had met with some of the state’s licensed casinos to investigate the possibility of having online gaming and online lottery tickets for its residents.

At press time, it was reported a follow-up meeting was scheduled for late October to explore these possibilities and come up with a timeline of activities that could possibly make this happen.

NEW JERSEY: Trump Plaza closed in Atlantic City in September because of financial issues and a continuing decline in revenue. Betfair Gaming, out of the U.K., was the online affiliate of Trump Plaza and when Trump left the state, Betfair was left without a brick-and-mortar partner, which is required of any online gaming company that wishes to do business in the state. The New Jersey Gaming Commission allowed Betfair some time to try to find another partner to go to market with, and it was successful.

Caesars Entertainment and Betfair are partners in the state and Betfair will operate online gaming operations for Caesars’ land-based casinos in the state.

This agreement is good for six months and will be re-evaluated by the commission at the end of the term.

— Email Joel Gatlin at editor@anteupmagazine.com.