Pennsylvania Online Gambling Legislation Approval Delayed
Last month we reported on the state of Pennsylvania approving legislation that would legalize online gambling and DFS in the state. This could be very significant as Pennsylvania would be the fourth US state to legalize online gambling. In addition to the online gambling and DFS legalization, other gambling options like betting parlors at six state airport were also included.
However it seems now that the legislation will only be approved at earliest in the fall as it was left out of the state’s spending bill. Governor Tom Wolf signed the $31 billion budget on Monday but a fiscal plan on how to pay for the provisions could not be agree on. In terms of the legislation proposed, last month, there would be a 16% online gambling tax which is aimed at propping up the state coffers.
According to the Associated Press lawmakers are expecting an immediate $100m revenue stream and estimates are that online gambling in Pennsylvania could generate up to $300m annually. This would represent an additional 10% to the existing state casino gambling market.
Both the Senate and the State House reconvene in September with the legislature adjourning in November. The proposed bill will have to pass the Senate in this time window in order to make online gambling a reality in the state.
However the main supporter of the bill Rep. John Payne jokingly said that,” Anything can happen between now and then, and the only thing I can guarantee 100 percent is that on Nov. 30 I am retiring. But I do think it’s going to become law.”
Ahead of his retirement Payne went on to say that the House Gaming Committee has had over 54 meetings and hearing in the last 18 months to ensure that all sides of the online gambling debate are heard. He believes that Pennsylvania would be making a mistake should they opt to pass on regulating online gambling in the state, He said,” I’m totally convinced that iGaming and fantasy sports — we should regulate them … keep minors off the sites, keep compulsive gamblers off. And Pennsylvania should get something in return.”