Pa. panel approves Internet gaming, airport casino bill

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A bill to legalize and regulate Internet gaming and to allow slot machines at the state’s six largest airports is one step closer to becoming law.

The House Gaming Oversight Committee on Wednesday voted to approve House Bill 649.

The measure would authorize the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to issue interactive gaming licenses to casinos.

The bill would protect the privacy of players and people under the age of 21 could not participate. Revenue would be distributed to the state, counties and gambling addiction assistance programs.

Gaming Oversight chairman John Payne (R-Dauphin) authored the bill. He said thousands of Pennsylvanians who are gaming online are at risk for fraud and abuse and the proposal would help shut down black market sites.

Airports could add slot machines in secure areas beyond the TSA checkpoints, then use their share of the profits for revitalization projects.

Included language would expand casino liquor licenses and off-track betting facilities.

The bill now moves the full House for consideration.

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