Matzie urges gaming board to act quickly in issuing sports betting regulations

HARRISBURG, May 17 – Calling the timing critical, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, is urging the state Gaming Control Board to act quickly in issuing the regulations needed to implement sports betting provisions in Pennsylvania’s gaming law.

Matzie contacted the board just days after a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for states to legalize such betting.

“Pennsylvania is ready,” Matzie said. “With our robust casino industry and the law’s provisions in place, we’re positioned to be one of a handful of states ready to have sports betting up and running quickly. But our neighbors are also gearing up. New Jersey announced that it plans to have sports betting available by Memorial Day. Every day that goes by without this billion-dollar industry in place is a day that revenue goes elsewhere.”

Last year, Matzie worked to ensure that language from his sports-betting bill was included in omnibus gaming legislation signed by the governor so that Pennsylvania would be competitively positioned to offer such betting if and when it became legal. In his May 16 letter to the gaming board, Matzie said that with the language in place, quick regulatory action is needed so the commonwealth can benefit from that competitive position.

“We’re in a place where we could see tremendous tax revenue, but we’re squandering some of that if we don’t act immediately. I’m calling on the board to issue the temporary regulations that will let us move forward with this opportunity for the commonwealth,” he said.

Matzie said in addition to New Jersey, three other neighboring states -- New York, West Virginia and Delaware -- are gearing up to offer sports betting.