Online Poker Bill in the Works for Pennsylvania

Yesterday, two House members in Pennsylvania announced that an online poker bill is on its way. A House Co-Sponsorship Memorandum was filed by Representative Rosita C. Youngblood and Representative George Dunbar in preparation for legislation that will include efforts to see online gambling legalized and regulated in the state.

The two representatives have yet to announce when exactly the new measure will be proposed but have said it will take place in the not so distant future. In the Memorandum, there are several features listed including fixing the local share assessment tax by requiring all casinos to pay a $10 million fee to the host municipality, except venues that have Category 3 licensing. The tax issue has been ongoing since last September due to a decision by the state Supreme Court.

The regulation and taxation of online gaming is included in the memorandum as well as consumer protections being imposed on fantasy sports operators. The bill will reportedly cover several areas of gaming, creating an omnibus gambling bill for the state.

The memo by the House only listed the high points and no further information was provided on any actual regulations. At the same time, State Senator Jay Costa has a bill in the works. In January, Costa announced that he would be proposing an online gambling bill but his will have different wording. Costa provided more information on his bill which would include an online gambling licensing fee of $10 million for the casinos of the state.

Whiles land based casinos would have to pay $10 million, technology partners would only be required to pay $5 million. Those who offer online gaming services would pay 25% in taxes on online gaming revenues with the money used for property tax relief and economic development.

For now, we will have to wait and see when the bills are actually introduced and how well received they will be by fellow legislators in the state.

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