Hearings Continue in Pennsylvania Covering Online Gaming

pennsylvania_state_sealThe state of Pennsylvania continues their discussions of online gaming after a hearing took place late last week at the Meadows Racetrack & Casino. Led by Representative John Payne, the Chairman of the House Gaming Oversight Committee, the hearing discussed a number of topics including online gaming, regulatory processing, marketing out-of-state and more. The state is trying to determine how to remain competitive as the gambling industry continues to grow in the United States.

Payne oversaw the meeting and is the representative of the state who recently introduced a bill into the House that would allow the state’s Gaming Control Board to look into online gambling options and create regulation that would allow legalized gaming options to take place.

Testimony took place during the hearing by several individuals including Bill Paulos of the Cannery Casino Resorts and owner of the Meadows, Sean Sullivan VP and GM of the facility as well as other executives.

According to Payne, the goal of the hearings is to obtain information as well as ideas from operators in Pennsylvania who run the 12 casinos of the state. Surrounding states, such as New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland are quite competitive and Pennsylvania needs to make changes to remain in the loop.

Sullivan has suggested that the state consider using upfront fees as an advanced payment towards taxes as well as a 10% revenue tax. Sullivan says that online gaming should involve all types of casino games. However, it has not been estimated as to how profitable online games would be within the state. Executives of the Meadows would like to stay away from video gaming terminals as there are close to 40,000 of these devices operating illegally in the state.

During the hearing, a promotional plan was presented that would be used to increase the gaming revenues and taxes. The plan included alcohol service at the casino on a 24 hour basis as well as reducing the number of days harness racing is offered, with larger daily purses offered on-site.

For now, the hearings will continue, with officials trying to determine the best route for the state to take to remain competitive in the gambling industry.



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