Pennsylvania Senator details online gambling bill

The Senator confirmed that he would propose the bill in the near future.

US.- Jay Costa, a Pennsylvania Senator, announced that he filed a memo that details his intentions to introduce an online gambling bill based on HB 1887 in the state in the near future.

The previous attempt at legalising online gambling and reinstate local share tax on casino revenues failed in December, after the legislators didn’t even had the intention to vote on the subject. The current proposition contains higher tax rates than the previous one, and it is expected that operators will not be as happy: casinos would have to pay US$10 million for an online license, whilst vendors would pay US$5 million. The previous measure proposed an US$8 million license fee and US$2 million for operators. The senator believes that a higher fee is still better than no legislation at all.

Under the new legislation, casinos would not be able to offer online gaming in their facilities to prevent tax avoidance. He also set a 25 percent rate imposed on online gaming revenues with almost half of it directed to Pennsylvania’s Property Tax Relief Fund. Airports in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh would also be able to offer table gaming, with mobile operators paying a license fee of US$2.5 million as well as a 25 percent tax rate. Daily fantasy sports would pay 25 percent tax on revenues and US$2.5 million in fees. Lotteries would have the option to offer online services, although no numbers have been released yet.

Furthermore, Costa’s plan would guarantee that casinos will still pay their host communities the money that they received before the Supreme Court ruled in September that the host fee was unconstitutional and that casinos in Pennsylvania should not be forced to pay US$10 million and the 2 percent tax on slot machines revenues anymore, based on the fact that the tax was a problem for smaller facilities like Mount Airy Casino Resort.