Just a few weeks ago we reported the Pennsylvania Representative John Payne introduced into legislation a bill which would allow for online gambling within the state. Payne believes that since online gaming already exists and players are taking part, why benefit from the option? After several casino based hearings just a few days ago, the representative continues to reiterate that the state needs to look at offering online gaming as well as fantasy sports betting to create additional revenues in Pennsylvania.
Hearings of Harrah’s and the Sugarhouse casino took place earlier this week and Payne commented after that revenues could be made online since the industry already exists. The representative is suggesting his method be used rather than looking for an alternative that would result in higher sales and income taxes.
Representative Nick Kotick is a co-sponsor of the bill created by Payne and according to Triblive.com, stated that legalized online gaming could materialize for the upcoming budget but it will most likely not happen. Kotick states that it is very early in the game and they are continuing to gather information and have a long way to go. To see the bill move forward, Kotick stated that it will depend on if the majority of Republicans think the alternative is viable. Gambling can be a hard sell with the Republican Party as they tend to think it is taboo, according to Kotik.
Governor Tom Wolf’s plan for the state is to create a higher tax plan, which Kotik compares to climbing Mt. Everest. The House and Senate also received letters this week from the casino industry within the state urging lawmakers to block any legislation that would create video gaming terminals in local venues that are not active casinos. The casino operators believe this would ‘cannibalize’ the existing gaming revenue which has been on a two year decline.
The letter, which did not mention online gambling, was signed by officials of six racinos and four casinos, which including the Rivers Casino. It is interesting to note that the casinos did not mention online gambling. Is this due to the long shot of legislation or the fact that casinos can run online gaming site and reap the benefits?
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