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Poker Legislation & PPA Discussion hosted by Rich Muny Discussions of various poker-related laws and steps players can take to push for better laws.

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Old 03-07-2017, 01:21 AM   #1
Rich Muny
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Pennsylvania poker legislation

Reps. George Dunbar (R), Rosita Youngblood (D), Jay Costa (D) and five others introduced HB 392, which would license and regulate online poker, other forms of online gaming, and daily fantasy sports in their state.

HB 392 calls for an $8 million application fee and a $250,000 annual renewal fee for an interactive gaming license, and a $2 million application fee and a $100,000 annual renewal fee for interactive gaming operators. The proposed tax rate for online gaming operators is 14 percent of gross gaming revenue, with an additional two percent tax to go to host communities.

While similar legislation in Pennsylvania may not have passed into law last year, the state did take credit for the revenue and is already spending the money. This is good for us, as the legislature will have to find alternate revenue sources to make up the shortfall should they fail to pass online poker this time.

----------------

On March 7th at 2pm ET, the Senate Community, Economic & Recreational Development Committee and the House Gaming Oversight Committee will hold a joint hearing on online poker and other gaming issues. PPA Executive Director John Pappas will testify on behalf of the poker community on why the Keystone State needs to move forward on this important legislation.
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Old 03-07-2017, 01:22 AM   #2
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Re: Pennsylvania poker legislation. Hearing 3/7 at 2pm ET.

Today at 2pm ET, the Senate Community, Economic & Recreational Development Committee and the House Gaming Oversight Committee will hold a joint hearing on online poker and other gaming issues. PPA Executive Director John Pappas will testify on behalf of the poker community.
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Old 03-07-2017, 12:00 PM   #3
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Re: Pennsylvania poker legislation. Hearing 3/7 at 2pm ET.

Ahead of today's hearing, the PA Senate introduced S. 477, which would license poker websites in that state: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/...r=0477&pn=0484
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Old 03-07-2017, 01:12 PM   #4
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Re: Pennsylvania poker legislation. Hearing 3/7 at 2pm ET.

John's submitted testimony for today's hearing: http://theppa.org/static/pdf/Pappas_PA_03072017.pdf
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Old 03-07-2017, 03:04 PM   #5
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Re: Pennsylvania poker legislation. Hearing 3/7 at 2pm ET.

Today's PA hearing will be streamed, starting 2pm ET, at https://pcntv.com/channel-4
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:15 PM   #6
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Re: Pennsylvania poker legislation. Hearing 3/7 at 2pm ET.

Watched the last 30 minutes. In that part, it sounded like everyone in the room was wanting to get this done. The last guy that spoke mentioned a vgt bill, which I guess is the same as vlt. Is that a separate bill now that hopefully won't mess this up again?
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:33 PM   #7
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Re: Pennsylvania poker legislation. Hearing 3/7 at 2pm ET.

Cliffs?
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Old 03-08-2017, 12:28 PM   #8
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Re: Pennsylvania poker legislation. Hearing 3/7 at 2pm ET.

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Originally Posted by grandmaster flush View Post
Watched the last 30 minutes. In that part, it sounded like everyone in the room was wanting to get this done. The last guy that spoke mentioned a vgt bill, which I guess is the same as vlt. Is that a separate bill now that hopefully won't mess this up again?
Yes. VGT is a video gaming terminal. We'll have to see if it causes problems again this time, but many lawmakers there do seem to want to get iPoker done this time.
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Old 03-09-2017, 03:15 PM   #9
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Re: Pennsylvania poker legislation

Watch the hearing archive at www.pasenategop.com/blog/2017/03/03/030717
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:27 AM   #10
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Re: Pennsylvania poker legislation

Any updates on this? I haven't heard anything in a while. I seem to be too dense to find this info via search.
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Old 04-10-2017, 01:22 AM   #11
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Re: Pennsylvania poker legislation

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/...Body=H&Code=54

looks like there is another meeting this wed
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:27 AM   #12
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Re: Pennsylvania poker legislation

Wonder why this thread isn't getting any love? All the buzz is about PA right now.

New proposals coming out with objectionable tax implications, and the activists including the PPA are now out there making supply-side arguments against an obscene tax rate, albeit one that the PA casinos are already paying, but one that is far from pallatable to the global online operators.

And if the casinos are already paying said rate, giving the global operators a 'tax-break' amounts to 'corporate welfare' does it not?

Onlinepokerreport went so far as to publish an actual Laffer Curve showing the high tax rate would produce lower receipts than would a lower rate. Classic supply-side argument.

FWIW, I agree with the argument, I believe in supply-side measures. I'm just dumbfounded by who is making them
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Old 05-03-2017, 11:43 AM   #13
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Re: Pennsylvania poker legislation

Quote:
Originally Posted by curtinsea View Post
Wonder why this thread isn't getting any love? All the buzz is about PA right now.

New proposals coming out with objectionable tax implications, and the activists including the PPA are now out there making supply-side arguments against an obscene tax rate, albeit one that the PA casinos are already paying, but one that is far from pallatable to the global online operators.

And if the casinos are already paying said rate, giving the global operators a 'tax-break' amounts to 'corporate welfare' does it not?

Onlinepokerreport went so far as to publish an actual Laffer Curve showing the high tax rate would produce lower receipts than would a lower rate. Classic supply-side argument.

FWIW, I agree with the argument, I believe in supply-side measures. I'm just dumbfounded by who is making them
Sounds like those online operators are in for a uphill battle. Could be my keynesian ideological leanings but good luck convincing a group whose sole function is tax revenue, that somehow an online operation has more sunk costs than land based casinos. As someone who moved to NJ to play though, I'm rooting for PA and hoping it incentivises NY to legalize
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Old 05-03-2017, 03:45 PM   #14
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Re: Pennsylvania poker legislation

I wish all these states would quit messing around. PA, CA, and others want to do this and it keeps getting stopped by all of this tax disagreement stuff or disagreements about poker stars, etc. We need to get more states on board before sessions freakin bans it at a federal level and we're screwed for probably life
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Old 05-04-2017, 10:32 AM   #15
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Re: Pennsylvania poker legislation

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Originally Posted by grandmaster flush View Post
I wish all these states would quit messing around. PA, CA, and others want to do this and it keeps getting stopped by all of this tax disagreement stuff or disagreements about poker stars, etc. We need to get more states on board before sessions freakin bans it at a federal level and we're screwed for probably life
This is all being driven by the industry, and only the industry's goals are of concern. There are some realities to this situation nobody wants to talk about.

#1 is that at least 40 states will NEVER see legal online poker following this path

#2 is that no states will be able to move forward without appeasing Pokerstars

#3 is that Pokerstars doesn't care if they NEVER get into those 40 states, because they are not viable individual markets

As far as player activism, those that are speaking out at all are simply parroting the talking points passed down to them from Pokerstars. Which makes them completely ineffective, nothing more than thinly veiled industry spam
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Old 05-10-2017, 01:57 AM   #16
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Re: Pennsylvania poker legislation

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Originally Posted by curtinsea View Post
As far as player activism, those that are speaking out at all are simply parroting the talking points passed down to them from Pokerstars. Which makes them completely ineffective, nothing more than thinly veiled industry spam
Those that are speaking out are either funded by PokerStars or have a selection of affiliate websites lined up ready to go when (if) legislation is passed. Like you said "thinly veiled industry spam".
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:12 AM   #17
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Re: Pennsylvania poker legislation

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Originally Posted by curtinsea View Post
This is all being driven by the industry, and only the industry's goals are of concern. There are some realities to this situation nobody wants to talk about.
Industry drives a lot because they are the ones who will be offering the services. State legislatures won't really even move without knowing who will be offering the games. B&M casino legislation is even worse.

Quote:
#1 is that at least 40 states will NEVER see legal online poker following this path
If no one wishes to offer services and won't lobby these states, then it will be slow going. As other states move forward, there will be more logic and potential reward for industry to lobby these states harder.

Quote:
#2 is that no states will be able to move forward without appeasing Pokerstars
In states like Nevada, with a strong casino industry, PS had a limited voice.

PS seems powerful now because they are the one site doing most of the lobbying in other states. If WA tribes wanted iPoker, PS wouldn't be able to block them.

Quote:
#3 is that Pokerstars doesn't care if they NEVER get into those 40 states, because they are not viable individual markets
Why should PokerStars be responsible for the future of iPoker in every state? Other potential sites can push for poker in many states. WA tribes, Churchill Down here in Kentucky, casinos in Ohio, etc. Stars has nothing to do with the lack of iPoker in my state.

Quote:
As far as player activism, those that are speaking out at all are simply parroting the talking points passed down to them from Pokerstars. Which makes them completely ineffective, nothing more than thinly veiled industry spam
Most players are trying to help in spots where legislation has been introduced, where we can help push bills across the finish line. We don't parrot industry talking points. To the contrary, sometimes you latch onto something one lawmakers says one time, like that lottery thing, as if that would pass tomorrow if not for those dastardly PokerStars lobbyists who dictate poker policies to states throughout America. It's just not like that.
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:49 AM   #18
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Re: Pennsylvania poker legislation

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Originally Posted by Rich Muny View Post
Industry drives a lot because they are the ones who will be offering the services. State legislatures won't really even move without knowing who will be offering the games. B&M casino legislation is even worse.



If no one wishes to offer services and won't lobby these states, then it will be slow going. As other states move forward, there will be more logic and potential reward for industry to lobby these states harder.
Dominos? pfft

Tell us, why doesn't the PPA propose/promote legislation in so many states where nothing is even being discussed? This is my main beef with the PPA, where are the bills?

Quote:
In states like Nevada, with a strong casino industry, PS had a limited voice.
They also didn't really care about the Nevada market, as it is barely viable in the first place

Quote:
PS seems powerful now because they are the one site doing most of the lobbying in other states. If WA tribes wanted iPoker, PS wouldn't be able to block them.
They managed to completely scuttle California, so I"m calling BS on this

Quote:
Why should PokerStars be responsible for the future of iPoker in every state? Other potential sites can push for poker in many states. WA tribes, Churchill Down here in Kentucky, casinos in Ohio, etc. Stars has nothing to do with the lack of iPoker in my state.
I don't think I even suggested they should be responsible for the future of ipoker. In fact, I was saying quite frankly that players/PPA who are following Pokerstars lead should be aware that Pokerstars isn't going to lead the way for most of us.

Quote:
Most players are trying to help in spots where legislation has been introduced, where we can help push bills across the finish line. We don't parrot industry talking points. To the contrary, sometimes you latch onto something one lawmakers says one time, like that lottery thing, as if that would pass tomorrow if not for those dastardly PokerStars lobbyists who dictate poker policies to states throughout America. It's just not like that.
This is ridiculous

I didn't latch on to something one lawmaker said. I'm working on a lottery angle that may or may not move quickly among at least the western states, those of us being ignored by the industry and its minions. It's not something I just latched on to, I wrote about it on OPR a couple of years ago.

As for those dastardly Pokerstars lobbyists, they certainly do dictate the PPA talking points, as we have seen so clearly in CA

I don't even see a semblence of grass roots from PPA anymore. Maybe that's not all PPA's fault, players are chipping in any money and Pokerstars will stop if PPA isn't on their side. Reality is reality, I get it.

You aren't doing outreach to players, you are lobbying on behalf of Pokerstars. It's no longer about Poker, it has to be full casino or nothing. That is the industry speaking. If it is going to lobby, it might as well lobby for the full suite. But now we are tied to full casino (CA is an outlier, not the norm) and in Tribal states that is hugely complicate because of Class III compacts.

We need to explore other ways

Like a nation wide, multi-state lottery co-op, with the 888 platform already being used in three states, and shared liquidity across the board

Imagine being able to deposit/cash out at any local lottery retailer .... cash in hand at the cage ....

Of course, it doesn't have to be the 888 platform necessarily, but Pokerstars isn't going to be interested in that approach because of their insistance on being the forward facing brand

We don't have to let the industry lead
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Old 05-26-2017, 11:09 PM   #19
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Re: Pennsylvania poker legislation

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Dominos? pfft

Tell us, why doesn't the PPA propose/promote legislation in so many states where nothing is even being discussed? This is my main beef with the PPA, where are the bills?
That's an easy question. Without industry support, nothing really goes anywhere. You know that from personal experience.

It's hard for PPA to hire local lobbyists, craft draft bills, and get them introduced if industry isn't there. Especially as that money is money we wouldn't have in states like PA and NY, where a missed opportunity could make a big difference. On the other hand, if industry is engaged, we have something to support.

Now, if someone wants to send us a couple hundred thousand -- per state -- maybe we could have enough to get conversations started in those states. But, we'd still need industry. Nothing moves in Kentucky without Churchill Downs, nothing moves in WA, FL or CT without the tribes, etc.

Quote:
They also didn't really care about the Nevada market, as it is barely viable in the first place
NV wants to be the (or at least a) center of interstate gaming, where they'd handle the regulation.

Quote:
They managed to completely scuttle California, so I"m calling BS on this
By themselves? Seems they had a powerful tribal partner, where the tribe had all the power.

And, they didn't scuttle anything. It was the Pechange and Agua Caliente who scuttled it. The bill with the bad actor clause was a last ditch effort that flopped worse than the versions without it.

Quote:
I don't think I even suggested they should be responsible for the future of ipoker. In fact, I was saying quite frankly that players/PPA who are following Pokerstars lead should be aware that Pokerstars isn't going to lead the way for most of us.
There will be different industries pushing in each state. The problem right now is that Amaya/The Stars Group is the one out there doing a lot of the lobbying.

Quote:
I don't even see a semblence of grass roots from PPA anymore. Maybe that's not all PPA's fault, players are chipping in any money and Pokerstars will stop if PPA isn't on their side. Reality is reality, I get it.
There's some activism fatigue, especially after getting everyone onboard for various pushes. And, we aren't as flush with cash as we have been in years past. We don't have to follow PokerStars' bidding. In fact, I've never spoken to them about any strategy, but I do know we have to push where there is momentum.
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Old 05-27-2017, 10:08 AM   #20
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Re: Pennsylvania poker legislation

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Originally Posted by Rich Muny View Post
That's an easy question. Without industry support, nothing really goes anywhere. You know that from personal experience.

It's hard for PPA to hire local lobbyists, craft draft bills, and get them introduced if industry isn't there. Especially as that money is money we wouldn't have in states like PA and NY, where a missed opportunity could make a big difference. On the other hand, if industry is engaged, we have something to support.

Now, if someone wants to send us a couple hundred thousand -- per state -- maybe we could have enough to get conversations started in those states. But, we'd still need industry. Nothing moves in Kentucky without Churchill Downs, nothing moves in WA, FL or CT without the tribes, etc.

...
I beg to differ, sir. In FL, imo, if the pari-mutuels were to back Internet poker in one voice, they could get it done without the tribes. But I agree wholeheartedly with your point - nothing moves without the backing of the state-based casino/gambling industry, where it exists.
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Old 06-10-2017, 05:05 PM   #21
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Re: Pennsylvania poker legislation

https://www.onlinepokerreport.com/25...e-casino-bill/

I guess no one is excited because they think the senate shoots it down? why keep cramming crap into the bill they know has no chance of passing?
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Old 06-11-2017, 07:21 AM   #22
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Re: Pennsylvania poker legislation

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Originally Posted by lostmypw View Post
https://www.onlinepokerreport.com/25...e-casino-bill/

I guess no one is excited because they think the senate shoots it down? why keep cramming crap into the bill they know has no chance of passing?
It's just standard political negotiation. When there are still contentious issues, the crap gets put in one chamber or the other. Then they have a bipartisan-bichamber conference to work it out, if it is apparent that there are likely enough votes to pass a compromise bill. If they didn't think it had a chance of passing as a compromise, they wouldn't put in the amendments and that probably would have left it no chance of passing the first voting round.
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