Pennsylvania To Try Again To Legalize Online Gambling
Once again the state of Pennsylvania is set to try and pass legislation that will legalize daily fantasy sports and online gambling. This follows a near success in 2016 which almost passed both the House and Senate.
The latest move by Sen. Jay Costa is set to introduce an omnibus gaming bill that will address multiple issues including legalizing online gambling, DFS, authorization for the state lottery to offer online games and a fix to taxes on gaming facilities that benefit jurisdictions that host casinos. It will be based on the HB 1887 bill which died in December last year after the Senate did not bring it up in time for a vote before the legislative session ended.
Online gambling revenues are expected to generate $125 million for the state in the first fiscal year which is a bit more that the governor promised in the budget from a gambling expansion bill in 2016.
Costa’s bill will charge casinos $10m for a licence fee for their online operation while online technology vendors will have to fork out $5m. Previous bills had lower numbers which were $8m for licence fees and $2m for vendors.
In terms of taxes Costa wants a 25% online tax rate which is a lot higher than the 16% proposed in last year’s House bill. Airport mobile operators will have to pay $2.5m licence fee and a 25% tax rate, DFS operators will also have to pay a $2.5m initial fee with a 25% tax rate on revenues.
It remains to be seen if the latest online gambling bill will pass the Senate and not only the House as it has done in the past.