Pennsylvania advocates of internet gambling are not slowing down. As it was announced in January this year, the new online gaming bill has seen the light of day sponsored by Senator Jay Costa with the support of co-sponsors Senator Vincent Hughes, Senator Wayne Fontana and Senator Judy Schwank. The new bill is presented under the name SB 524 and it comes in third, following the two previous bills SB 477 and HB 392. The most recent legislation proposal relies to a great extent to the previous versions, while introducing some reforms as well, primarily in the field of taxation and online lottery.
New Bill Increases Taxes and Adds Online Lottery
The main idea of any bill addressing the issue of internet gambling is to regulate this activity together with daily fantasy sports. Primarily, the online gambling activity should limit the age of the players and thus keep it under control, by preventing minors from gambling. Furthermore it implies licensing the operators, thus imposing annual tax fees and one-time license fees. This is of great importance as regulated online gambling would direct the revenue flow in the state budget. The latest proposed bill addresses the same issues, as well as, adding online slot machines to the airports.
The novelties that it brings refer to the tax rate which, under SB524 would be increased from formerly set 14% to 25%. This is one of the hot issues regarding the new bill. While on the one hand it is considerably higher, on the other hand it is still lower than 54% proposed in 2016. In addition to increased taxes, it increases the licensing fee from $8 to $10 million. The casino operators that are planning to contend for a license, in case the bill is passed, will definitely not accept this with open arms, or the fact that under the new bill the online lottery is planned, which will present a direct competition to online casinos.
The unsatisfied casino operators are not the only threat to the bill, though. Recently, an anti-online gambling bill emerged as well. State Representative Thomas Murt filed HB 801 – “Banning Internet Gaming in Pennsylvania Act” which aims to stop the attempts of legalizing online gambling by amending the state law. HB 801 proposes that Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board should not only ban online gambling but also introduce sanctions for providers of such activities. The bill also proposes money fines and prison time for these offences. Thomas Murt was joined in his battle by four other co-sponsors.
Both Jay Costa and Thomas Murt, together with their co-sponsors are now waiting for the hearing of the House Gaming Oversight Committee which is scheduled for March 28. We are yet to see whether Pennsylvania residents will benefit from playing at USA legal casinos.
Regardless whether this bill or any of the many others around the country do eventually get passed, there is still plenty of time to promoting online casinos and promoting online poker. It takes years for such bills to not only get passed but then actually put into action. Even if Pennsylvania (or any other state or states) would pass their bill legalizing online gambling, anyone who applies themselves to affiliate marketing can still make a very nice living doing so. See our recommended casino affiliate programs on how to get started as well as the best programs to work with.