Online Gambling Legislation Planned for Pennsylvania

Online Gambling Legislation Planned for Pennsylvania

Friday, 1 February 2013

Pennsylvania could well become the next American state to wade into the debate over intra-state online gambling after a member of its House of Representatives announced her intention to introduce legislation legalising the activity.

Tina Davis, a Democrat representing the eastern state’s 141st House of Representatives district just north of Philadelphia has authored a memorandum calling on her fellow members to co-sponsor legislation that would amend the existing Gaming Act and establish guidelines and regulations for intra-state online gaming.

“As many of you know, the federal government issued an opinion last January that has opened the door for the legalisation of Internet gaming nationwide,” read the memorandum from Davis.

“In the wake of this decision, several states and the federal government have introduced proposals that would provide for online poker and other games that are currently regulated in Pennsylvania law. In fact, two bordering states have taken action on this issue with Delaware enacting laws to allow for online poker and New Jersey working on language to follow Delaware’s lead. These states have seen their gaming industry take a hit from Pennsylvania’s casinos with our state becoming the second largest gambling market in the country.”

The proposed legislation would establish licensing and operational guidelines for the regulation of online gaming by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. The suggested scheme would set the iGaming license application fee at $16.7 million and institute a ‘reasonable tax rate that takes into account overhead and cost of operation’ concerns.

“The proceeds from Internet gaming would be split between the Property Tax Relief Fund and the State Lottery Fund,” read Davis’ memorandum.

“Again, considering the nationwide efforts to legalise Internet gambling, it is imperative that we maintain the integrity of our gaming industry amid inevitable federal pre-emption and competing states.

“A responsible Internet gaming system must be created in order to protect Pennsylvanians and the success of the established gaming industry in the Commonwealth, which has provided more than six billion dollars in revenue and created more than 16,000 jobs state-wide.”

Tags: Pennsylvania, America, regulation