While the state of Pennsylvania has been moving forward with legislative efforts to provide online poker and casino gaming to residents and visitors, one state senator is still opposed. State Senator Lisa Boscola has stated that she is opposed to legalizing online gaming but feels that other officials will give approval as part of the current negotiations of the state budget.
Over the past few weeks, legislators have met to discuss the new online gaming bills introduced within the state by holding hearings. According to a report at lehighvalleylive, Boscola believes that there is interest to legalize iGaming soon in Pennsylvania. In the report, Boscola states: “It’s gaining a lot of traction because of the structural deficit in our budget. It’s not going to be that easy to get passed, but it’s got momentum.”
Surprisingly or maybe not so surprising is the fact that Boscola has a connection to the Sands group, which of course is connected to online gambling opponent Sheldon Adelson. Boscola has been lobbied by the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem to be against online gaming and has stated that the opposition needs to be heard due to the fact that the casino has a significant investment within the state.
The Sands Bethlehem has declined comment but we all know that Adelson is a strong opponent of online gaming and will stop at nothing to try and hinder any state from offering online gaming, especially one in which his company operates. Boscola has also stated there are other reasons to be opposed to online gaming including addiction as well as students gaining access to the option.
Boscola has stated that if a vote takes place during the current budget cycle for online gaming, she will be pushing to have any proceeds go to property tax relief. The State Senator feels as though the people were promised funds from legalized gaming would go towards property tax and only one component has so far, with the slot gaming.
The current bill in the Senate, SB 900, has a tax rate set of 54% which many experts believe will keep the bill from passing. This is the highest tax rate in the US so far by quite a margin.
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