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Harrisburg parking rates rise, new meters go online

Updated: Monday, March 17 2014, 05:57 PM CDT
Reported by Kyle Rogers:

March Madness is upon us, and the basketball has people ready to lay down money to be a part of pools in hopes of taking home the grand prize.
The only problem is that betting on sports in the state of Pennsylvania is illegal.
A bill was signed into law in November of 2013 making it legal for certain clubs to offer betting pools, but because of a federal law, State Police are still issuing citations for groups participating in sports betting pools.
“March Madness is occurring. I don’t know what they’re going to do with that type of betting.” Democratic Pennsylvania Senator Lisa Boscola representing Lehigh, Monroe, and Northampton Counties said. “I believe it’s legal, they believe it’s not.
Boscola led the effort to pass an amendment allowing certain clubs to host betting pools in Pennsylvania as long as the entry fee doesn’t exceed $20 and there are less than 100 people in the pool, but because of a federal law passed in 1992 that prohibits sports betting pools, Pennsylvania State Police are still citing people.
“That whole law was meant to be states, doing it statewide and taking a cut of the money, that’s what I believe.” Boscola said.
Pennsylvania State Police told CBS 21 that they don’t plan on actively seeking out people betting on sports, but if they come across illegal activity, they plan on issuing a fine between $50 and $2000.
“This is harmless fun that people have and should not be illegal activity.” Boscola said, adding that she believes small bets on sports should be legal for all residents of Pennsylvania, not just clubs. “We’ve got some people putting $2 in, and that’s illegal. That’s just nuts. That’s insanity.”
Many people in Harrisburg agree, and they plan to participate in small sport betting pools amongst friends regardless of the law.
“It’s the same as going to a casino or anywhere else, you’re putting your own money up.” Todd said.
“I think people should have the right to choose to have some fun with the games, $5 bets, $10 bets, whatever. As long as it’s kept within the confines of friends, family, things like that.” Donald Shephard said.
Boscola said she currently has legislation circulating in committee that would allow everybody to engage in sporting pools, but it has not been brought to the senate floor for a vote.
“Let people have a little fun.” Boscola said. “I can’t believe you can let them go to a casino and blow a thousand dollars, but oh, no, it’s illegal if you put $2 on an NCAA pool or a football pool.”
Harrisburg parking rates rise, new meters go online

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