Published on 20 April 2017 by Adam
After a whirlwind March which saw multiple news pieces published on Netent Casino about Pennsylvania’s continued struggle towards iGaming legalisation, it’s all gone a bit quiet. Everything was gearing towards a showdown meeting with the state’s House Gaming Oversight Committee, with several bills of varying weight up for discussion.
However, it all became a bit of a damp squib in the end for online gambling terms, as the only thing brought to the committee’s attention was the introduction of video gaming terminals. There is estimated to be around 40,000 illegal VGT’s in the Keystone State at this moment, and the authorities are clearly determined to convert a large chuck of this activity into legal revenues.
Thankfully, though, we’ve just been given word that a new Pennsylvania online gaming bill has been filed by the House for consideration by the Senate – but this time, they’ve taken on a new strategy.
HB 271 – A Carrot for the Senate to Gobble Up
One of the main drivers behind HB 271 is George Dunbar – a Republican who is keen to see legal online gaming in Pennsylvania pass into law. The politician was a regular online poker player before the Black Friday drama saw an end to that in the States, but he hopes this can be rectified somewhat in PA. Dunbar, essentially, sent a similarly-looking bill to the Senate last year (H 392), but this fell on deaf ears.
Now, though, he’s only included tablets in airports as a form of gambling, giving the bill an almost clean slate to be populated by whatever the Senate decides. It’s an interesting method, and not one that we initially anticipated would bring much success. However, Dunbar also reminded them about a $375million gambling expansion budget bill in a bid to pick up attention, as solutions to fiscal problems are big news in the Quaker State at this time.
However, that $375million figure relies upon multiple gambling forms being accepted – including our beloved iGaming. Interestingly, it hasn’t included anything on VGT’s, as many thought this could be used as an alternative to legalising online betting in Pennsylvania. It is now to be discussed by the Senate on Community, Economic and Recreational Development, so watch this space!
Has the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Outlined the Next Big Date?
Although it is widely accepted that there isn’t enough time to collect licensing fees before the 1st July cut off point for the new US financial year, there is one date that Dunbar has in mind that may prove to be crucial in the race to regulate PA online gambling – 26th May.
This is a deadline that the Pennsylvanian Supreme Court set for a deal to be done regarding local share tax, an issue that has been a constant thorn in Dunbar and any pro-iGaming person’s side since this battle first started many years ago. However, he doesn’t anticipate an extension being granted for lawmakers to come up with a fixed local share tax, so something has to happen soon.
Follow Netent Casino’s Pennsylvania Online Gaming Timeline for Updates
In case you missed it, here at Netent Casino we decided to include our very own timeline of Pennsylvania’s online gambling updates to keep our readers ahead of the game. This story is constantly changing and evolving as the days go by, with new bills and legislation being drawn up at all times.
Hopefully, we’ll eventually see internet gambling legalised in Pennsylvania before too long!