Pennsylvania House's Gaming Oversight Committee passed a state legislation bill that lets casinos offer sports betting in case the federal ban on the activity is lifted. The proposal, which encompasses professional and collegiate sports events, parlays, pools and straight bets, is to be up for a vote in the House.
Both the House and Senate are moving towards more liberal gaming rules in an effort to tackle Pennsylvania's financial deficit. This is related to the state having vowed to generate $100 million from new sources of gambling.
The outcome of a case on sports betting before the U.S. Supreme Court will be decisive on whether the Pennsylvania plan will go through. The current state of affairs allows sports betting only in Oregon, Nevada, Delaware and Montana.
New Jersey is also looking into going round the federal prohibition so that casinos and racetracks on the territory of the state can provide sports betting services.
The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Robert Matzie, D-16, Ambridge, commented on the situation, "I believe we must be ready to act should the federal ban be lifted."
Gaming Chairman Scott Petri added that budget makers have not yet taken the provisional sports betting revenue into account due to the ban still being in force. In case of a positive court decision, lawmakers are ready to implement their sports betting agenda as soon as possible.