Pa. gradually laying out structure for legal sports betting

At some point this year, Pennsylvanians will be able to legally gamble on sports. (AP)

At some point this year, Pennsylvanians will be able to legally gamble on sports. (AP)

More regulations are being released for Pennsylvania’s fledgling sports betting industry.

Lawmakers legalized the gambling expansion last year, but it wasn’t permitted under federal law until a U.S. Supreme Court decision last month. The regulations will be temporary for two years before going to the state’s regulatory commission for full approval. The latest set of rules includes a requirement that all casinos offering sports betting hire an outside contractor to watch for illegal activity.

State Gaming Control Board spokesman Doug Harbach said that includes players throwing games for money.

“[The observers] are looking for something out of the ordinary,” he said. “In this case it might be something with a game that coincides with some kind of betting activity going on with that game.”

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The board is also giving casinos guidelines for designing and branding their websites, and requiring computer servers be in the state to avoid running afoul of the Federal Wire Act.

Harbach said it’s still not clear when the program will be up and running.

“Gaming expansion for sports wagering and the other forms were done to make sure that we’re gaining more revenue, so we’re moving as swiftly as possible,” he said. “But we’re always going to ultimately protect the public. That’s why we’re going to make sure that this is done right.”

Any casino in the commonwealth can eventually apply for a license — which comes with a $10 million dollar fee and hefty 36 percent tax rate.

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