Pennsylvania Representative Plans To Introduce Online Gambling Legislation

As New Jersey becomes closer to their deadline for online gambling legislation, another state is apparently stepping into the mix. Representative Tina Davis has released a memorandum stating that she is planning on introducing a piece of legislation that will amend the current Pennsylvania Gaming Act. The new legislation will establish guidelines as well as regulations that will apply to online gambling in the state.

Davis posted the announcement on January 25th on the Pennsylvania House of Representatives page. In the memorandum, Davis states that the federal government ‘issued an opinion’ last January which gave way for legislation of online gambling across the United States. Since that time, several stats as well as the federal government have created proposals of legislation which would provide online poker and other online gambling options, which are already regulated in the state of Pennsylvania. Davis points out that Delaware and New Jersey, both bordering states, have taken action on the issue.

In the memorandum, Davis states her position:

“Under my proposal, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board would regulate requirements for the licensing, operation of, and responsible participation in internet gaming to ensure that this form of gaming is within the regulatory framework we have fought to establish here in Pennsylvania. Furthermore, my legislation would set the license application fee at $16.7 million, and would establish a reasonable tax rate that takes into account overhead and cost of operation for the casinos. The proceeds from internet gaming would be split between the Property Tax Relief Fund and the State Lottery Fund.        

Again, considering the nationwide efforts to legalize internet gaming, it is imperative that we maintain the integrity of our gaming industry amid inevitable federal preemption and competing states, as well as possible expansion of internet games through the privatization of our own State Lottery. A responsible internet gaming system must be created in order to protect Pennsylvanians and the success of the established gaming industry in the Commonwealth, which has generated more than $7 billion in state tax revenue, and created more than 16,000 jobs statewide.”

The full memorandum can be read here. It will be interesting to see exactly what the proposal reads by Davis and how it is received by government officials in the state.

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