Pennsylvania State Rep says jail for playing online, Black Belt Poker Busto

Neil Channing moves on

Before the turn of the year the Pennsylvanian Senate authorised a study for the future potential of online gaming which many appeared to pinpoint as a vital part of shoring up the state’s finances. Despite this, Monroe County Republican Mario Scavello recently made it very clear that he, for one, was not on board:

Online gambling is like the Wild West. There’s no one around to keep an eye on someone who doesn’t know when to stop”, said Scavello, while fellow Rep David Millard added that “being addicted to gaming is like a cancer in the community.”

Scavello’s bill would aim to enforce a punishment of up to 90 days in jail for first time offenders and up to a year behind bars for repeated incidents, which was instantly backed by Sheldon Adelson’s anti-internet gambling Coalition.

However, as land based casino revenue dropped last year for the first time ever, if legislators are to rely on gaming revenues for financial support; the online arena may be unavoidable.

After nearly six years as owner and founder of iPoker skin Black Belt Poker, 2008 Irish Open Champion Neil Channing has ended his involvement with the operation, advising all the site’s players that it will be closing at midnight on February 28th.

The British pro – who has more than $3m in tournament earnings to his name – officially launched Black Belt with co-founder Nik Persaud back in April 2009, but having suffered from a lack of traffic and watched his innovative staking system fade in the game’s modern era, Channing’s now decided to focus on other endeavours.

 “All that remains is for me to thank everyone who invested, who worked hard for us, who were sponsored by us, who participated in discussions on our website and particularly those who played on Black Belt Poker”, he concluded.


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