Pennsylvania online gambling by July?

Pennsylvania online gambling could finally become reality by July, scratching the itch for poker players who have been waiting for the last 16 months.

That’s how long it has been since Pennsylvania legalized online gambling in the state, but it still hasn’t gone live. Recent news that come out of a budget hearing earlier this week may finally show a light at the end of the tunnel.

On Wednesday Pennsylvania state officials delivered testimony at a budget hearing before the state’s House Appropriations Committee. At the hearing Kevin O’Toole, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, told the committee that he expects online poker and online gambling sites will finally go live in Pennsylvania around July 1.

Online sports betting is also expected to finally launch around the same time.

Pennsylvania online poker and gambling by July?

When the calendar turned over to 2019 a few months ago it was expected that online poker and online casino games would go live in Pennsylvania sometime in the first quarter. That target obviously won’t be met if the real launch month ends up being July.

Part of the reason for the delay was the Department of Justice’s recent reversal of opinion of the Wire Act. Under the new opinion all forms of gambling would be restricted from taking wagers across state lines. Under a previous opinion delivered under the Obama administration the Wire Act was said to only apply to sports betting.

In January, following the DOJ’s change, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board gave state casinos 30 days to develop a plan to adhere to the new opinion. The casinos were required to show how they would be able to launch in Pennsylvania while making sure all player wagering and infrastructure for taking bets and wagers remained within state borders.

This apparently caused delay with the location of servers, which now must be housed in Pennsylvania to abide by the new Wire Act opinion.