Online Gaming Bill To Be Introduced In Pennsylvania
State Would Follow In Footsteps Of Others Looking At New Industry
Pennsylvania has already become the nation’s second-most lucrative gaming market, but the state could still want more. A state lawmaker recently announced plans for a bill that would legalize online poker, as well as potentially other casino games on the web.
Under Rep. Tina Davis’ plan, current Pennsylvania gaming regulators would oversee the intrastate industry. Also, an Internet gaming license would cost $16.7 million.
She added that there would be a “reasonable tax rate” for the industry and that money from Internet gaming would go to the Property Tax Relief Fund and the State Lottery Fund.
“Considering the nationwide efforts to legalize Internet gaming, it is imperative that we maintain the integrity of our gaming industry amid inevitable federal preemption and competing states, as well as possible expansion of Internet games through the privatization of our own State Lottery,” Davis wrote in the memorandum.
“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 generated more than $7 billion in state tax revenue, and created more than 16,000 jobs statewide.”
The news comes as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ponders an online gaming bill. The Garden State was just overtaken by Pennsylvania in terms of annual casino revenue and thus is looking to turn things around. However, it’s unclear if Christie will sign.
Other states in the mix for an Internet casino industry include Mississippi, Iowa and California, while Nevada and Delaware have already legalized. The year 2013 could be the time when many states take big steps, thanks to the federal government failing to act on the issue in 2012.
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