Proposed bill would hit offenders with fines and jail time.
Pennsylvania Republican legislator Mario Scavello recently announced a proposal to penalize citizens of the state who use online gambling sites. While it is illegal to gamble online in Pennsylvania, currently no system of punishment exists.
According to American gambling laws, states are free to create their own gambling markets and legal frameworks. Pennsylvania is mulling legalizing online casinos for the first time. This comes after neighboring states New Jersey and Delaware launched online casinos last year.
Scavello fears social problems associated with gambling
Scavello has vowed to fight any legalization, and proposes to punish violators with fines and possible jail time. He and other opponents of online casinos in America associate them with underage gambling and addiction. Said Scavello:
“Here again, online gambling is best described as the Wild West… Online, there’s no one around to keep an eye on someone who doesn’t know when to stop. I believe that if you hit people in their wallets, we can start to crack down on the lawbreakers.”
While Scavello’s bill is particularly extreme and looks unlikely to pass, it also looks unlikely that Pennsylvania will legalize online casinos. For now, locals will only legally be able to visit land-based casinos in the state.