Unless a special session is called, online poker and casino gambling legislation will not be passed in the state of Pennsylvania this year. The Pennsylvania Senate has made no move on HB 2150, which was passed by the House earlier this year, and now the year will come to an end without any change to online gambling in the state.
On Wednesday, the 2015/2016 session came to a close and HB 2150 was no closer to passing. The measure would have fixed the local share tax problems that occurred after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided to rule that the tax needed to be changed back in September due to being unconstitutional. The bill also includes online gambling legalization as well as other changes to the gaming industry.
As far as the local tax share problem is concerned, the issue will have to be taken into consideration early next year, however, casinos and local municipalities have been able to come to agreements which has led to making the matter less urgent than before.
Because HB 2150 did not pass, the legalization of online gambling and how it would come to pass is uncertain. New members of legislation who will be taking office in January may be willing to speed up the process or we could see changes as to what would be allowed as far as poker and casino gaming are concerned online. Another big issue is that fact that Representative John Payne is leaving office. Payne has been a strong supporter of online gambling for the state and his absence could play a major role in changes to the possibility of legislation passing or even seeing the subject pushed back even further.
$100 million was earmarked to come from online gambling within the state budget so we know something will have to be done to bring in the cash needed for the state. Seemingly, the state has seen great momentum in a positive manner this year in regards to iGaming legislation only to end the year with uncertainty.
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