Pennsylvania Governor Officially Approves Online Gambling
Pennsylvania has officially become the fourth U.S. state to legalize online gambling after Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation on Monday that would authorize the expansion of gambling. Pennsylvania will now join New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware.
The need for new revenues that could be generated by gambling expansion were just too tempting for for the legislators to overlook. Pennsylvania is the second largest commercial casino state and the addition of online gambling options in both the state lottery and casinos is bound to attract new younger players that are essential for long term growth.
Gov. Wolf is not known to be a fan of expanding gambling but chose this option to avoid a tax increase. Wolf believes that the proposed changes will not cannibalize state revenues from existing casinos. Bidding for the news casinos would start at $7.5 million with limits of 750 slots per casino and 30 table games. In terms of the new legislation ten of the state’s existing casinos can bid on a licence. The casino will be able to offer online gambling in eight airports including Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. In addition five slot-style monitors or VGT’s will be allowed at certain truck stops.
Revenues generated are expected to reach $200m but this is yet to be proven as seen with the pre-launch of online gambling in New Jersey. Many experts believe that the addition of Pennsylvania to the online gambling market in the U.S. will get the attention of other states who will also pursue legislation to legalize internet gambling. Pennsylvania’s existing casinos generate more gross revenues than any other state except for Nevada according to the American Gaming Association with over $1.4 billion in the last fiscal year. The lottery in Pennsylvania generates $4 billion in sales of which $1 billion is profits.