Coming out of the same state where a judge ruled that poker is a skill game and should not be considered illegal gambling, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell is trying to get video poker machines legalized so that the profits can be used to help pay for students to go to college. According to Rendell’s plan, video poker machines would be put in various establishments all over the state and the 17,000 machines that currently operate illegally would become scarcer.
If the state approves Rendell’s bill then as much as $7,600 for college money would be generated for each student that comes from a family earning under $100,000 a year. Right now it is much tougher for students and their families to pay for college since the recession in the US has hit so hard. An extra $7.6K would certainly go a long way to helping these people pay for school.
Now I now that legal video poker machines isn’t the same thing as poker but, if this bill did go through, then lawmakers might start looking more seriously at legalizing regular poker in the future. Just like video poker, online and live poker could provide the US government with extra revenue in America instead of having players spend their cash at offshore sites.
This is the first serious attempt I’ve seen at (totally) legalizing anything related to poker in an area where such things are considered illegal. And I think that this is a great idea since it would give the authorities more time to do meaningful things such as investigating real crimes rather than running around trying to seize video poker machines from bars and other places. Plus the taxes on these machines would be providing the government with a ton of extra money.