Pennsylvania Senate Gives Thumbs Up to Internet Gambling Bill

Publish: 26.05.2017

Pennsylvania state Senate passed legislation which allows an expansion of casino-style gambling and lottery games online last week. The state lawmakers are looking for ways to raise income in order to release financial pressure of Pennsylvania’s deficit-stricken budget.

Bill Moves Forward

If allowed and accepted, the bill would make Pennsylvania the first state to offer both its stake lottery and casinos on the internet. Subsequently, it would allow the introduction of online gambling salons in airports. Furthermore, taxes from online fantasy sports games would be introduced, while the bill would also reactivate a requirement that casinos pay yearly host fees worth millions to local governments.

Pennsylvania Senate passed the bill on the 38-12 vote which took place just 24 hours after the measure was publicly announced. Passing of the bill came after months of closed-door negotiations, which saw the bill receive support from top Senate Republicans and Democrats alike.

The bill is still a long way off from being officially made into law as it faces a thorny path through the state House of Representatives.

The Republican-controlled chamber is backing up the bill and is seeking support for legislation that would ultimately allow slot machine-style gambling in thousands of state’s bars, truck shops and fraternal clubs.

Still A Long Way to Go

Such a provision is expected to get a lot of stick from casinos, who would ultimately lose gambling dollars at their end of the bargain. At the same time, such a provision is seen as the biggest money-making option for the state, which is enough of an argument legislators need.

On the other side, many of the casinos backed a launch to the online world, but at the same time they are not that keen on the provision which stipulates they are required to pay $10 million for an operating license.

Additionally, internet operations would be taxed at up to 54% rate, which is another major hurdle.