Pennsylvania Expected to Legalize Online Poker by 2017

Pennsylvania casinos were outperforming their competitors in New Jersey for several years. However, online gambling appears to have given Atlantic City casinos an edge, because they have generated more revenue than Pennsylvania casinos for two months in a row. Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering leveraging their own casino industries by offering online gambling. Financial analysts believe that the state will legalize online gambling by 2017.

A September report from Morgan Stanley showed that online gambling advocates have made substantial progress towards legalizing online gambling. They are confident that a bill will be passed within the next couple of years.

Morgan Stanley analysts are confident that state casinos will generate substantial revenue from legalizing online gambling. They believe the state will bring in nearly $60 million in the first year and expect the market to increase six fold within four years.

Morgan Stanley is confident that the market for online gambling will continue to grow throughout the country in the near future. Analysts believe that the U.S. regulated gambling market will be worth nearly $1.5 billion in 2017 and more nearly quadruple by 2020. They currently expect 20 states to legalize online gambling by 2020, but the movement to expand the online gambling market may gain steam as more states recognize the benefits.

Morgan Stanley’s outlook is shared by many advocates including the Poker Player’s Alliance. John Pappas, the Executive Director of the PPA, doubts a bill will be approved in 2015. However, Pappas is confident that efforts to regulate online gambling will gain traction the following year.

State lawmakers are a bit less optimistic about the possible benefits of online gambling, but are still beginning to recognize the potential. A state commissioned study recently found that the state could generate about $113 million each year, which would help shrink the state’s $1 billion deficit without cutting essential social programs.