Finally! Gov. Wolf Signs PA Gambling Bill Legalizing Online Poker And Casinos

November 2, 2017
Governor Tom Wolf

At 12:49 p.m. Monday, an Associated Press reporter announced that Gov. Tom Wolf signed H 271, the Pennsylvania gambling expansion bill that makes Pennsylvania the fourth state to legalize online gambling, daily fantasy sports and the expansion of video gaming terminals (VGT’s) into truck stops.

The news came via a Tweet from Marc Levy, a reporter who covers Harrisburg.

Levy didn’t provide too many details, except that Wolf will “still borrow against liquor and wine story system proceeds even with lawmakers passing tobacco borrowing measure.”

What the bill includes: DFS, casino satellites, VGT’s

The gambling package is massive, affecting multiple facets of the PA gambling scene, encompassing everything from airports to online hold ’em.

Some of the signature parts of the bill the legalization of online poker and daily fantasy sports, as well as the addition of VGT’s to truck stops.

Another interesting aspect of the bill is the casino satellite provision. The law allows existing casinos to build up to 10 smaller casinos.

Other aspects of the bill included the sale on online lottery products, tablet gaming at certain airports, and a modification of Category 3 casino license regulations that increases slot machine limits and drops membership fees.

Signature was expected after Senate, House passed bill

Wolf’s long-awaited scribble across H 271 was, for many, a foregone conclusion after the Senate and House approved the bill last week.

The Senate initially took a no-budge stance on allowing video gambling terminals anywhere but in casinos. However, they finally relented this past Wednesday, passing a gambling bill by a vote of 31-19 that included VGT’s at truck stops.

That inclusion was a risky one to pass on to the House. Lawmakers in that chamber were adamant to include VGT’s in taverns as well as truck stops and airports. That night, the bill looked like it would die on the lawmakers’ floor as it had so many times before.

By 10:45 that night Rep. Steven Dunbar called home to his wife to tell her that things didn’t look good. By some miracle, the next morning his fellow members of the house had a change of heart. The bill passed with a vote of 109-72.

Photo by George Sheldon /

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