Pennsylvania Lawmaker Believes Online Gambling Could Be Legalized By March
The state of Pennsylvania is seen by many as the next U.S. state that will legalize online gambling. Last year as we reported they came close when an omnibus bill passed twice in the House and the online gambling revenues were already written into the budget.
The bill which looked to legalize online lottery sales and daily fantasy sports was held up by a local rev-share problem which would have seen certain casinos being treated unequally and as such was deemed illegal by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Two competing bills based on last year’s gambling bills are on their way to legislation. Senator Kim Ward and Senator Jay Costa are set to introduce their soon. Senator Mario Scavello, chairman of the Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee believes that as soon as March something will be passed in the House and Senate. He was sounding optimistic and said, “It looks like online gaming has the support to pass. We can look at other expansion.”
Costa in a memo to his fellow lawmakers sad that his bill was based on the original bill as a base but the tax rate is significantly different. Costa proposes a tax rate on operators of 25% as opposed to last year’s 15%. This could definitely make it difficult for regulated operators to compete with the unregulated market. Senator Ward’s proposed bill is still at early stages but is set to me much more casino friendly. He said that the casinos already pay enough and that adding casinos had already bought many economic benefits since legalization in 2006. He added “We don’t want anything to hurt that.”