The passage of online gambling legislation in the state of Pennsylvania seems so close, if only lawmakers can agree on how casino and poker gaming should take place. The state continues to review changes to the gambling industry, including adding online gaming in the mix. A bill to regulate iGaming just recently passed in the state House last night, with a vote of 102-89. HB 271 now goes back to the Senate to be reviewed once again.
Earlier this year, the House passed HB 271 and the Senate decided to make a few changes in regards to the language of the bill. The changes included raising the tax rate for house-banked online games to 54%. Online poker revenues were to be taxed at 16%. These rates have been criticized by stakeholders within the casino gambling market of the state.
The House approved plan from last night proposes a 16% tax rate for all casino games taking place online. The tax rate seems to be the main point of contention and lawmakers of the House and Senate will need to come to some sort of consensus before online gambling can come to fruition within the state.
The legislation also covers other areas of gambling expansion such as slot machine style gaming in bars and taverns in the state, online lottery ticket sales plus a fix for the local share tax. All of these aspects coming together in one bill seems to have made it difficult for lawmakers to come to an agreement.
If online gaming were to be legalized in the state, it has been estimated that as much as $300 million would be added to the gambling market of Pennsylvania once maturation is reached. $250 million is expected to be provided by gambling expansion for the budget of the state, but nothing will be provided unless the activities are legalized.