A 4th bill covering gaming in the state of Pennsylvania is still in the works with State Senator Sean Wiley covering several aspects of the industry in the drafted measured. Online gaming as well as land-based changes are included in the measure and during a memorandum, Wiley released additional details of the bill.
According to information at USPoker, the bill includes legalizing online poker within the state. Casino games would not be included in online gaming and with the passing of Wiley’s drafted bill, regulators would draft rules that would be put in place as early as July 1st of 2016 for online poker rooms. Gaming options then not be made available until January 1st, the following year. Online poker rooms that are regulated in the state would be operated by the companies behind the existing casinos in the state.
$500,000 would be the price set for an interactive gaming license with a tax rate of 36%. Of that tax, 2% would be set aside for the racing industry to be used for promotional means. The remainder of the taxes would then be used for a school property tax freeze for seniors of the state. A Casino Reinvestment Grant Fund would be created under the bill and would see the funds dispersed after $10 million in revenues are earned and then placed in the fund.
Also included in the measure is a seven year moratorium for new gaming licenses within the state. The idea behind this addition to the bill is that the market would be able to mature and give regulators more information before issuing the remaining licenses. The bill also seeks to repeal a law in which gaming companies are only allowed to own up to 1/3 of a second gaming license. Also in the mix are alcohol sales, licensing for racetracks and procedures in tournament play.
Pennsylvania continues to move forward in their efforts to become the next state to offer online poker gaming. We will continue to monitor the legislative efforts in the state and keep readers abreast of the latest developments as they happen.
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