Pennsylvania budget might include online gambling. Dani Stern foes on the 2+2 Pokercast to talk about the recent boycott of PokerStars. Gifts for the poker enthusiast.

Pennsylvania budget deal imminent

It looks like Pennsylvania is finally going to have a budget in place for 2016, as the State Senate and the House of Representatives both passed budget bills on Monday. Unfortunately, the two bills diverge on several key issues, which means compromise is still needed.

The House version appears to include online gambling expansion, and for the first time we are seeing what the House Republicans are willing to give the governor – new taxes on tobacco products.

The Senate version doesn’t include online gambling expansion, but it doesn’t appear to include any funding mechanisms. From the sounds of it, the Senate bill is the one the governor favors, so we’ll see if the House can get iGaming included as a funding source.

However it shakes out, it looks like Pennsylvania could have a budget in place by the end of the week… and it might legalize online gambling in the state.

For anyone interested in wading into the convoluted world of state budgets here’s some excellent columns on the current situation:

Political Winners & Losers: The budget just imploded – now what?

Pennsylvania Budget: The Latest

Pennsylvania state Senate passes framework budget plan

Quick Hitters

– Dani “Ansky” Stern appeared on the 2+2 Pokercast to talk about the recently concluded three-day boycott of PokerStars which he spearheaded.

– The PokerNews staff, or maybe it was just Donnie Peters, I’m not 100% sure, has offered up their holiday gift guide for poker players.

– Instead of gifts, poker writer Jennifer Newell has some different ideas on what she would like for Christmas from a poker point of view.

– John Pappas, the Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance has penned an op-ed for the Morning Consult where he makes the case for regulation of online gambling, not the prohibition talk that is likely to dominate the Wednesday hearing chaired by RAWA sponsor Jason Chaffetz in front of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee.

– In the latest installment of the Forum Files, our own Alex Weldon has sifted through all of the PokerStars talk on 2+2 (there is a lot by the way) and pulled out the greatest hits.