A joint hearing is scheduled to take place today in the state of Pennsylvania to discuss the online gambling industry as well as other areas of reform in gaming. A gaming reform bill was introduced about a month ago in the House of Representatives and it was set to be discussed today. Now, it seems new legislation has emerged just in time for this hearing.
According to OnlinePokerReport, a bill was filed yesterday and referred to the Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee. The new bill will be part of the hearing today which will include the House Gaming Oversight Committee.
SB 477 is the new Senate bill introduced this week that would legalize and regulate online gambling as well as daily fantasy sports. The bill would see that the local share tax for host municipalities and surrounding communities is reinstated with an annual fee placed on certain slot license holders. The bill would also authorize multi-state progressive slot machines along with allowing skill-based and hybrid slot gaming machines.
As far as taxes and licensing fees are concerned for online gambling, the bill would create a 14% tax on gross gaming revenues that would go to the state. A 2% tax on the gross gaming revenues would go to local communities. An interactive gaming license will require a one-time $8 million licensing fee with interactive gaming operators paying a one-time $2 million licensing fee. Interactive gaming licensees will pay an annual renewal fee of $250,000 while interactive gaming operators will pay $100,000 in renewal fees each year.
It was four senators of the state who introduced the measure yesterday, Senator Thomas Killion, Senator Guy Reshenthaler, Senator Camera Bartolotta and Senator Patrick Stefano. The joint hearing for online gambling is set to take place today so it will be interesting to see how this bill as well as the previously introduced gaming reform bill are received by the House and Senate.
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