Pennsylvania was one of the key battleground states in the 2016 United States Presidential Election and it continues to be one in terms of legalizing online gaming. Once again, it's back in the news as they've made a little bit of progress towards making online gaming legal. That's where we'll start our news of the week.
Pennsylvania to Legalize Online Tablet Gaming in Airports?
Pennsylvania has been looking to get into the online casino market for a while now but the move towards legalization has been more like a crawl than a walk. However, we do have some progress to report - as bizarre as the news might sound.
The Pennsylvania Senate Community Economic and Recreational Development Committee had a vote on Bill H-271, which is a bill that would authorize tablet gaming in airports. The bill was passed by a vote of 13-1 with just one key opponent: Senator Robert Tomlinson. He abstained from voting. The idea is to allow real money gambling on tablets in eight regional and international airports. The next stop for it will be the Senate where it will need approval.
If it sounds weird that it's just the airports, you're not the only person thinking that. The logic is that the gambling will be in a restricted area and won't impact the land-based casinos. Casinos with slot machine licenses would be the operators. While it passed the house vote, there will likely need to be some amendments as it moves through the senate.
Sweden Opening Doors To Offshore Companies?
It looks like Sweden could be the second Scandinavian country to scrap its online gambling monopoly. Following in the footsteps of Denmark, Sweden is now moving towards opening up the lines of competition to offshore online operators. To date, the offshore companies have not been able to apply for a license and have been forced to operate in a grey area.
Currently, Svenska Spel, which is run by the government, has a monopoly on the gaming market. The issue is that monopoly is in violation of a treaty law set by the European Union. Those offshore companies have actually won in court, which is why they have been allowed to operate with legal immunity, but they haven't been allowed the same access in terms of marketing and advertising.
With recent reports showing just how many Swedes gamble online, the government is now looking at bringing those offshore companies out of the darkness and into the light. Svenska Spel would still oversee gambling machines and brick-and-mortar casinos, but places like Bet365, Unibet and PokerStars would be able to buy licenses for around $77,000 and up. They would also have to accept annual fees and taxes.
This is still a working proposal and it probably won't go through for the next couple of years, but it's clear that the country is moving in the direction of full legalization.
Bet365 Announces New Slots for its Online Casino
Bet365 has announced that they're adding seven new slots games to their online casino. Buster Hammer, Cyrus The Virus, Fields Of Fortune, Roaring Wilds, Ted, Vikings Go Berzerk, and Well Of Wonders are the new games, each of which will have varying degrees of jackpots and multipliers. People might recognize Ted as being based on the 2012 movie of the same name from Seth McFarlane and Mark Wahlberg, while Vikings Go Berzerk is a sequel to Vikings Go Wild.
These games come from reputable companies such as NextGen Gaming, Yggdrasil and Thunderkick.