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Legislation for Poker & Income Taxes for Poker Players Discussions of various poker-related laws and steps players can take to push for better laws.

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Old 05-22-2020, 07:42 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 2,086
Change poker laws in PA? Might be time to strike

Folks, we may have an opportunity to greatly liberalize laws related to poker games in Pennsylvania if we act quickly. I'm professional lobbyist here in PA and there is a ton of stuff in flux right now, which makes interesting things possible. For example, a group of Republicans are now calling for the legalization of recreational pot because of the massive budget gap.

Casinos and gaming regulators have already said that large-scale poker rooms won't be returning any time soon. I'd love to move live poker games from the casinos to smaller private poker clubs, sort of like Texas. It's impossible to operate a poker room in a casino following CDC guidelines, but a poker room with 2-3 tables could take appropriate precautions.

I have some specific thoughts on strategy but I will wait to see if anyone is interested in this idea. We could put together an ad hoc committee and get things rolling pretty quickly.....We just have to move fast because the state budget deadline is June 30th and that drives a lot of the actively in the legislature.
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Old 05-22-2020, 11:12 AM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 2,086
Re: Change poker laws in PA? Might be time to strike

Just sent this e-mail to the Senator Lindsay Williams, who is the chair of the PA Senate committee that regulates gambling:

Sen. Williams:

I wanted to send you a quick note about live poker in PA. I am
requesting you take action in your role as the Democratic leader of
the PA Senate Committee on Community, Economic & Recreational

PA casinos will shortly go live without poker rooms and it's likely
that those rooms will never re-open. Poker has never been a big money
maker for casinos and they will need the space for more profitable
games that directly benefit the house such as slot machines. The days
of large scale poker rooms in PA is likely over.

PA should explore changing current law to allow for private clubs or
non-profit organizations to host professionally-run poker games in
small venues. Poker players, especially those who play at higher
stakes, will need fair and safe options. Otherwise, much of that
activity could be driven underground to illegal underground card

The growth of online poker during the shutdown shows that the game has
enduring popularity in PA. Donít let the coronavirus destroy live
poker in PA.

Thank you,
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Old 05-22-2020, 08:06 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2011
Location: UTG
Posts: 4,539
Re: Change poker laws in PA? Might be time to strike

Quick, notify the "Poker Players Allia" .........never mind.
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Old 05-25-2020, 12:37 AM   #4
Rich Muny
Former PPA President
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 27,106
Re: Change poker laws in PA? Might be time to strike

Originally Posted by Gzesh View Post
Quick, notify the "Poker Players Allia" .........never mind.
OP is right, though. This would have been a good opportunity to get the word out. Many poker players have time to take action, and politicians are likely paying more attention to social media than usual to gauge public reaction to their coronavirus-related actions.

One example is all the people who took to social media with their opinions, pro and con, on the shelter-in-place orders and the various shutdowns. While media were largely supportive of long shutdowns, social media showed pretty diverse opinions on the matter. Those who thought it was okay at the beginning but should have been ended sooner than it was (and replaced with social distancing and other measures) seemed to be in the majority in a lot of places.

Poker supporters could have gotten into these discussions and, had industry made a push with decent lobbying in conjunction, we would have at least been heard.
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