HB 649 – the bad Pennsylvania proposal for state-sponsored online and video gambling – will not be voted on this year as part of any state budget deals. That’s an early Christmas present for Pennsylvania families.

This proposed legislation was on a fast track in the House; passing from committee in November and being scheduled for a vote this past weekend. The pro-gambling lobby had assumed a favorable vote. Even with the bill’s false promises and harmful changes to our communities, it wasn’t looking good.

That’s when hundreds of concerned Pennsylvanians stepped up; contacting their State Representative through means like our Citizen Action Center, telling them about the dangers of any government sponsored online gambling.

And not only online gambling but an additional problem with HB 649 came with the added amendment to allow video gambling machines in any of Pennsylvania’s 12,000 pubs and taverns. Mixing the most addictive form of gambling with local places pushing the sale of alcohol is not keeping the safety of Pennsylvanians first and foremost.

All the emails and contacts were worth it: the day of the scheduled vote came and no vote on HB 649. And now it’s been reported that there will be no vote happening this year and not included in any budget deal.

Thank you to everyone who voiced their concern to their State Representative – this is just another example of the difference you can make by reaching out to your elected officials.

It’s something to celebrate for the remainder of this year but we know we will continue to battle it in 2016. And the Pennsylvania Family Council, with the support of tens of thousands of families across the Commonwealth, will be sure to keep an eye out for any developments in Harrisburg.

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