The negotiations related to Pennsylvania state government’s fiscal deficit have once again brought gambling expansion in the foreground. With the looming deadline for local legislators on Monday, the state’s gambling expansion could be the only suitable solution for the budget crisis in Pennsylvania.
Over the weekend, a session to address the economic situation within the state was held by local legislators. The latter finally presented this year’s budget, with the approval of a number of gaming legislation projects expected to be discussed as part of the state’s attempt to find the necessary funding of approximately $700 million needed for the budget deficit to be filled.
The state of Pennsylvania has been looking to set a budget of $32 billion, despite the fact that the Government has been avoiding to increase general taxes. This is considered as one of the main reasons why local legislators may give the green light to the long-discusses gambling expansion, aiming to neutralise revenue decline.
As previously reported by Casino Guardian, the local legislature has had some ups and downs in its opinion towards the gambling expansion. In case that the proposed gambling package is greenlighted by local legislature, this could be a great step forward for Pennsylvania’s gambling industry. The gambling expansion has been still estimated as one of the few possibilities for the state to generate instant revenue which could be used to fill in the gaps of Pennsylvania’s budget.
However, it turns out that video gaming terminals are the ones that have been the apple of discord when it comes to the state’s gambling expansion. In case that the state of Pennsylvania finally approves the all-inclusive gambling package, online gambling operations will become legal across the state of Pennsylvania. The same fate is expected for the daily fantasy sports, while the local lottery would be permitted to sell its products online, too.
As far as video gaming terminals are concerned, local legislature has not been very keen on permitting the VGTs at bars, restaurants and truck stops across the state. Video games terminals were also pointed as the main reason why the review and approval process of the proposed gambling expansion faced a delay on multiple occasions.
Considering all gaming legislation proposals, the state of Pennsylvania could expand its gambling industry with satellite casinos, in case that the current operators are allowed to operate such facilities, as well as online gaming platforms and daily fantasy sports. What is more, local entertainment venues such as bars, restaurants, hotels, etc. could be allowed to apply for gaming licenses. Online gambling operators would also be accessible to customers at international airports across the state of Pennsylvania.
Unfortunately, as far as Pennsylvania’s gambling expansion is concerned, some unresolved issues still remain. There has not been any firm opinion of local legislature or more detailed information on the licensing fees that are to be implemented. There have been various proposals in different cash ranges but no official opinion has been presented yet. Also, the issue related to operating licenses has also been a bit shaky, as as it has not been exactly clear whether operators would be given the chance to run a number of brands under a single operating license.