Pennsylvania has been in the running to become the next individual state in the US to offer online gaming options, including the game of poker. The state has seen a minimum of four proposals introduced to legalize online poker or every form of gambling for residents and visitors to enjoy. However, the state may not be able to get online gaming up and running due to a high tax rate with the proposals.
Several industry insiders have stated that the high tax rate will keep operators from wanting to invest in the state. John Pappas is the Poker Players Alliance Executive Director, who stated that if the tax rate is ‘exceedingly high’ an operator will have to take the amount out on the customer.
Currently, the four proposals in the state have a proposed tax rate of 14%, 28% and 54%. The All American Poker Network CEO and Executive Chairman, David Licht, has also weighed in on the topic, speaking with Player’s Advantage. According to Licht, people will not be willing to invest marketing dollars to drive revenues if the tax rate is too high. The APN already operates online gaming in New Jersey and has an agreement in Pennsylvania with Mt Airy Casino if the option is legalized.
Pennsylvania has a popular of close to 12.8 million and residents have shown they enjoy poker and casino gaming. Because of this, the state is second in gaming in the United States, just behind Nevada. Pennsylvania could be a leader in online gaming, if legislation can be passed into law.
Licht has stated that if the industry could have a tax rate of 15% and a licensing fee of $5 million, around $100 million could be brought to the state within the first year. According to State Representative John Payne, the House Gaming Oversight Committee Majority Chairman, the 15% tax rate is too low and the 54% suggested in another proposal is too high.
Officials will now have to come to some type of consensus to find the best rate to assist the state with legalizing online poker and casino gaming to be successful. It will be interesting to see if one of the current proposals will be accepted or if an additional proposal will be needed to bring online gaming to fruition in Pennsylvania.
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