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Online Gambling Bill in Pennsylvania Might Get Airtime Next Month
- May 18, 2016 By Oliver Young -
Lawmakers in the US state of Pennsylvania are considering licensing online gambling according to the newspaper the Reading Eagle. The news website announced that the bill to license and regulate online gambling in the state will be a subject of discussion in June 2016 at the meeting of the Full House of Representatives. The bill which will be considered is HB 649 presented by Rep. John Payne at the end of February 2015.
The newspaper also announced that the move comes right after Pennsylvanian lawmakers reported a $1 billion deficit in the state’s budget. Instead of rising taxes, they will consider the subject or regulating online gambling in the state.
What the Bill Proposes
Rep. John Payne has always been a big advocate for legalizing online gaming in Pennsylvania. His proposed bill HB 649 perhaps might be voted on but who knows what will happen after he steps down. Payne told media that he won’t stand for reelection because he prefers to spend more time with his family.
The bills talks about the importance of legalizing online gambling in the state. Not only regulating the virtual gambling market would generate more money to the state, but it would also introduce legal and regulated environment for practicing gambling on the Internet. The bill also talks about the protection of children and compulsive gamblers from illegal gambling sites. Once the gambling market gets regulated, Payne hopes to see the industry generate approximately $120 million in gambling revenue in the first year alone.
Other important details in the bill HB 649 include the taxation of the online gambling revenue which is set at a rate of 14 percent and the price for obtaining a value license to practice Internet gambling in Pennsylvania set at $5 million.
Operators that can apply for a license are the state’s existing casinos. Currently there are 12 land based casino establishments but the list can go down to 11 having in mind that casino mogul Sheldon Adelson owns Sands Bethlehem in the state.
Daily Fantasy Sports Is Also Being Considered
The newspaper also reads that lawmakers will be considering whether or not to regulate daily fantasy sports sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel. DFS sites like these allow customers to compete for cash by predicting the performances of players in a certain match. DFS has been under scrutiny on a national level recently. When the problem was examined by a congressional subcommittee, the federal government has told states to postpone the drafting of their own regulations.
Pennsylvania’s Council on Compulsive Gambling, a nonprofit organization that provides training and runs the compulsive gambling hotlines in the state, remains neutral on the proposal, according to the executive director of the group Jim Pappas. However, he said that lawmakers must have in mind that the more gambling departments are available, the greater the need will be to fight compulsive gambling.