Pennsylvania considers online gambling proposals

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A State Representative said that Pennsylvania is considering three different proposals to expand casinos into online platforms.

US.- Pennsylvania has been trying to change its gambling regulations for quite some time now, and one of the latest attempts is related to the online sector: State Representative Scott Petri said that the legislature is considering three different proposals regarding online platforms.

The state could become the first one to legalise land-based casinos and online lottery if lawmakers are successful in their attempts. As revealed by Fox News, Gary Miller, Pennsylvania Lottery spokesperson, said that the proposals are currently circulating around the Department of Revenue’s budget for the next fiscal year that is set to start in two months. “The main reason lotteries are considering this is because they need to be where their players already are,” he said. According to the lottery official, the measure would benefit the old population as it would generate US$1 billion annually that would go directly to programs for them. “With a growing number of senior citizens needing this, we need more options,” Miller added.

Petri believes that land-based casinos in Pennsylvania oppose online gambling because they think that it would take money and benefits away from them, and that it would jeopardise the jobs that the facilities offer. Moreover, he claimed that online gambling operators should not worry about high taxes, as they wouldn’t be similar to land-based ones. “The entire online industry thinks it should be 15 percent but not more than 20 percent. As chairman of the committee, I think it’s important that I be an honest broker,” he added.

Earlier this week it was reported that the Pennsylvania General Assembly was expected to receive a new project to legislate the industry. The proposal is still expected to be introduced this week by State Rep. Patrick Harkins, Democratic legislator and it would be aimed at fixing the financial situation in Erie County. If legislators approve the bill, Pennsylvania will become the fourth state to legislate the iGaming sector, after Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey. The bill would allow local casino and lottery operators to offer the same services through internet platforms in order to collect additional revenues, which would be destined to counties’ public services, such as the police department. “I wanted to make sure to have something ready to go just in case any issues arise,” explained Harkins to The Record Herald.