The Pennsylvania legislature is considered to be coming closer towards an agreement on an all-inclusive gaming package. The latter is expected to be beneficial for the state, as it could bring additional funding to Pennsylvania’s 2017/2018 budget.
If the proposed gambling package is officially passed, this will be a great breakthrough for the local gambling industry, especially considering the fact that state’s authorities have been aiming to expand it. Pennsylvania House has a session being scheduled for today. It successful, there could be a vote on the comprehensive gambling package, as well as a number of other measures. However, time is running out for local legislators, especially considering the fact that it has to come up with an appropriate funding package to complement the bill it passed at the end of June 2017.
As said by a local media, the Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati described gambling legislation as a step toward getting an additional amount of $2.2 billion to the shortfall in the Pennsylvania’s budget and fill in a deficit for the upcoming fiscal year. Scarnati did not provide more information about the gambling legislation package, despite the fact that the supporters of Pennsylvania gambling expansion insist that license fees and taxes owed to the state could provide hundreds of millions of dollars. Still, he shared that gaming would be part of the state’s funding.
According to a recent media report, gaming expansion would be one of the few possibilities for the state of Pennsylvania to generate instant revenue. Analysts have shared projections that if the state expands its gambling market, this would bring over $120 million in direct revenue over the first year after the new legislation is implemented. According to them, the total amount would exceed $420 million after five years.
Despite the fact that Senate President Joe Scarnati has refused to provide any more details on the gambling legislation package, the gaming reform package is considered to be aimed not only at making online gambling legal within the state of Pennsylvania, but also regulate such operations. Also, daily fantasy sports would also be made legal and regulated, and the Pennsylvania lottery would be officially allowed to sell products on the Internet.
What is more, tablet gaming at some airports across the state of Pennsylvania is also being sought by the comprehensive gambling package. Local share tax that casinos pay to host and surrounding communities would be reinstated in case that the new online gambling legislation is implemented. In addition, the Category 3 amenity requirement is expected to be eliminated when it comes to a one-time fee.
However, the new all-inclusive gambling package would probably not make video gaming terminals legal at restaurants, bars and truck stops. The video gaming terminals have long been considered the apple of discord, as it was the reason why the entire process of review and and approval was delayed and even threatened at several occasions.
On the other hand, online gambling tax rate is also a matter that has provoked a number of discussions between the major legislative bodies of the state. It remains to be seen what tax rate would be implemented to local operators in case that the gambling legislation package is officially given the green light.