• This is an update to the Duane Morris Client Alert issued here.

A second poker-only bill (HB 695) was introduced and referred to the House Gaming Oversight Committee for review.  The two bills contain many similar provisions but there are two key distinctions in HB 695:

  1. Unlike the previous bill (HB 649), HB 695 is a poker-only bill authorizing “any interactive poker game approved” by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
  2. HB 695 contains a “bad actor” provision.  The bill calls for a presumption of unsuitability for any licensee or significant vendor who has:
    1. At any time, either directly or through a third party whom it controlled or owned in whole or in significant part, knowingly or willfully: (i) accepted or made available wagers on interactive games using the Internet from persons located in the United States after December 31, 2006, unless licensed by a Federal or State authority to engage in such activity; or (ii) facilitated or otherwise provided services with respect to wagers or interactive games using the Internet involving persons located in the United States for a person described in subparagraph (i), if such activities or services would cause such person to be considered a significant vendor if those activities or services were provided with respect to interactive games pursuant to this chapter, and if such person acted with knowledge of the fact that such wagers or interactive games involved persons located in the United States.
    2. Purchased or acquired, directly or indirectly, in whole or in significant part, a third party described in paragraph (1) or will use that third party or a covered asset in connection with interactive gaming.

“Covered asset” is defined under the bill as

Any of the following categories of assets, if specifically designed for use and knowingly and willfully used in connection with wagers or gambling games, using the Internet and involving customers located in the United States after December 31, 2006, unless licensed by a Federal or State authority to engage in such activity: (1) any trademark, trade name, service mark or similar intellectual property that is used to identify any aspect of the Internet website or the operator offering the wagers or interactive games to its customers; (2) any database or customer list of individuals residing in the United States who placed wagers or participated in interactive games with or through an Internet website or operator not licensed by a Federal or State authority to engage in such activity; (3) any derivative of a database or customer list described in paragraph (2); or (4) software, including any derivative, update or customization of such software, or hardware relating to the management, administration, development, testing or control of the Internet website, the interactive games or wagers offered through the website or the operator.