Pennsylvania House Representative to Introduce Sports Betting Bill

Pennsylvania has added another type of gambling offering to its wish list. A House Representative has recently informed fellow lawmakers that he plans to introduce a bill that would call for the legalization of sports betting within the Keystone State’s borders.

Rep. Robert F. Matzie, who has been member of the state Legislature since 2009, said that he was encouraged by the election of former casino mogul Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, and particularly by the fact the nation’s new top official has hinted at having a soft spot for sports betting and the legalization of this type of offering on several occasions in the past.

Rep. Matzie also said in a Monday memorandum to the state Legislature that New Jersey’s repeated efforts to legalize sports betting have convinced him that the possibility deserved to be more special attention by him.

New Jersey has appealed a decision by a lower US court, according to which the state’s continued attempts to establish a legalized sports betting industry breached federal laws. The US Supreme Court was set to hear the state’s case on January 17 but instead announced that it would first wait for the new US Solicitor General to voice opinion on the issue. Many believe the fact the highest US court did not immediately reject the case boded well for New Jersey’s effort.

According to Rep. Matzie, Pennsylvania is in an excellent position to host different types of sports betting activities. The official noted that legislators should be ready to act on the legalization of this type of gambling offering, once and if a long-standing federal ban is eventually lifted.

It is still unclear whether Rep. Matzie’s push for legal sports betting will come as a separate legislative piece or will be tacked onto a larger bill.

Gambling expansion has been a hot topic in the Pennsylvania Legislature for the past several years. Last fall, an omnibus bill for the legalization of online gambling and daily fantasy sports as well as for the addition of land-based gaming options across the state was approved by the House but failed to make it to a Senate vote. A similar legislation is expected to be finally approved this year, thus opening Pennsylvania’s market to online poker and other iGaming operations.

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