Pennsylvania is close to joining Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware in being a US state where online gambling is legal, thanks to a newly passed Pennsylvania online gambling bill.
In big US gambling news, Pennsylvania’s House Gaming Oversight Committee passed the House Bill 649 on Wednesday by an 18-8 vote. The object of the bill is to legalize and regulate online gaming in the state of Pennsylvania. The Keystone state’s twelve land-based casinos would be the first to benefit from the bill, as operators must be licensed and have an approved system in place that’s able to verify player age and location.
The Pennsylvania online gambling bill must be voted on by the rest of the House and by the state Senate prior to reaching Governor Tom Wolf. It will be made into an official law if added to and passed with the state’s 2016 budget.
House Bill 649 states that online gambling licenses cost operators $5 million, while it costs $1 million for “significant vendors.” Revenue would be taxed at 14%. Should Pennsylvania online gambling become legal, it is estimated that the sector could reach $300 million in revenue in the next year alone.
Advocacy groups celebrate the approach of legal Pennsylvania online gambling
online gambling sites in US in the US advocacy group, the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), is happy to hear the news of the possible legalization of Pennsylvania online gambling. The group—which has 1.2 million members nationwide—has around 25,000 players in Pennsylvania.
Says PPA executive director John Pappas in a press release: “With the passage of House Bill 649, the House Gaming Oversight committee has proven their commitment to providing Pennsylvania residents with a safe and regulated place to play online poker within our own borders. Now this bill needs to become law. The safety of consumers and the fiscal health of Pennsylvania will be vastly improved when internet gaming is appropriately licensed, regulated and taxed. It is our hope that the legislation will be enacted on its own or as part of the state’s 2016 budget by the end of this year.
“New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware are already successfully providing their residents with a safe and regulated online gaming market accountable to the players, regulators and law enforcement, and now it’s Pennsylvania’s turn to give their citizens this right. In addition, a regulated market will introduce new revenue for the state and create local jobs. House Bill 649 is a win-win opportunity that Pennsylvania’s lawmakers cannot afford to miss.”