With 2017 only just begun, the state of Pennsylvania seems to be wasting no time in getting back into the discussion of online poker and casino gaming. During the first week of the year, Senator Kim Ward met with gaming operators to discuss the industry including gaming expansion. Senator Jay Costa also has announced that he has plans to introduce new legislation that will not only legalize online gambling but also daily fantasy sports.
The bill by Costa is expected to be introduced in the near future after the senator posted a co-sponsorship memorandum. Such a memorandum is a step in the direction of introducing legislation in the state. It is believed that the bill will be an omnibus gaming measure that will cover several issues. In the memo, Costa stated that in the near future, he plans on introducing legislation that will amend the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act. In doing this, the gaming industry of the Commonwealth will be able to continue to evolve and remain competitive in what Costa says will be a responsible manner.
The legislation will also respond to the September ruling by the state Supreme Court in which the slot machine local share provisions were deemed unconstitutional. This issue has been at the top of lawmaker’s legislative plans as the money is needed to keep municipalities afloat.
The provisions of the proposal will include legalizing and regulating online gambling, legalizing and regulating daily fantasy sports as well as authorizing the state lottery to offer online games. The measure will also include provisions to fix taxes on gaming facilities so money will be provided to benefit the jurisdictions that host the venues.
It is believed that online gambling in the state, including poker and casino games, would generate around $125 million for the state in the current fiscal year. As planned so far, the legislation would see a casino offering online gaming with a licensing fee of $10 million and vendors paying $5 million for licensing. Revenues of online gambling operations will be taxed at 25%. DFS operators will pay a licensing fee of $2.5 million with revenues also taxed at 25%.
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