Pennsylvania Libraries Benefit from New Gambling Law

Written by Michael F. on 2009-12-19 at 11:58
American gambling laws - GamingZion
Recent changes to American gambling laws have introduced a number of new possibilities for the casino industry in the state of Pennsylvania. The bill still required a final vote from the house, along with approval from the Senate before it becomes law, but at this point there is little doubt of it passing. Voting is expected to occur within days.

The changes the new law would bring include an increase in the number of casino licenses issued by the state. It will also legalize table games such as poker, craps, and blackjack, allowing Pennsylvania’s slots casinos to expand considerably. These changes are expected to raise as much as $320 million in gambling tax revenue over the next two years, because a 14% tax will be levied on all new gaming tables. Casinos will also have to pay millions in licensing fees for the right to expand their offerings.

Pennsylvanian state libraries stand to benefit greatly from these new laws, as 1% of all table game taxes paid by Pennsylvania casinos is to go to local libraries. The Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh expects to receive around $850,000 a year as a result of the new bill, while the Allegheny County Library Association is looking forward to $722,000 in incoming gambling tax revenue. State officials believe that this sudden boost in the libraries’ income will allow them to expand their services, and to offer better coverage in lower-income areas.

The bill is likely to pass, but it may still face changes imposed by the Senate. There is a suggestion that senators will not license new casinos, for example. Library associations are also hoping for additional income, because despite the monies they expect to receive, recent cuts in state funding basically counteract the new gambling tax income, putting library funding back to about the same place it was a year ago.

These changes occur in the midst of a struggle over the fate of online gambling in the United States. If the internet gaming industry in the country opens up, state systems like Pennsylvania’s libraries could stand to receive additional funding. If and when this happens, however, remains to be seen.

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