By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – The chairman of the Gaming Control Board is sounding a note of caution about the possible launch of Internet gambling in Pennsylvania.

William Ryan, center,  (credit: Tony Romeo)

William Ryan, center, (credit: Tony Romeo)

With a budget deficit well above a billion dollars and a June 30th deadline not far off, legislative leaders are eyeing Internet gaming as one possible piece of the revenue puzzle. But at a Senate hearing on the state of the Pennsylvania casino industry, the chairman of the Gaming Control Board, William Ryan, citing the many issues involved with rolling out Internet gambling, threw some cold water on that idea.

“The board will work diligently on this. But we should not sacrifice protection of the public and the casinos for speed. Therefore, we would request an effective date of one year to implement Internet gaming should the General Assembly and the administration decide to authorize it.”

Ryan says in New Jersey, the launch of Internet gaming took more than nine months, and that regulators there admitted they could have used more time.