PA House Approves Online Gaming – Tax Still a Huge Sticking Point
Published on by Adam
After finally passing through the PA Senate on the back of many arguments, online gaming in Pennsylvania has taken a further step towards legalisation after the House approved another amended HB 271. We’re delighted that the industry looks closer and closer to becoming a reality, particularly after having advocating for a regulated iGaming market in the Keystone State for some time.
However, we’re not out of the woods just yet, as the hugely polarising tax rate is still giving pro-online gamers a few nerves. Let’s take you through what we know at Netent Casino.
An Industry-Wide 16% Tax Rate? Now That’s More Like It!
If there’s one thing that’s held back an agreement on this matter, it’s gross gaming revenue tax. Pretty much every concern, both good and bad, has revolved around an appropriate rate of payment back to the state, as multiple parties stick those noses in to try and alter what it should be.
After hearing that our much-loved online casino slots and table games would be subjected to a flat 54% fee, the celebrations at Netent Casino were muted to say the least. On the other hand, we held more than a speck of hope that the House would revert back to a more reasonable number – and we weren’t wrong.
Rather than a 54% online casino tax, the House advocates for a much more reasonable 16%.
What’s more, a one-off $8million licensing fee for all activity is suggested.
We doubt that the above terms will make it into a final legislation draft, with the House simply beginning negotiations with the Senate.
Whichever number they arrive at, though, we hope they’ll consider Robert DellaFave’s report before finalising – as it could make all the difference between a thriving or a shrinking Pennsylvanian iGaming market.
HB 271’s Other Issues
Unfortunately, tax isn’t the only problem that many foresee between the two’s talks, as the bill is pretty wide-ranging.
Covering more than just your online casino entertainment, there’s also Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), tablet gaming at airports, video gaming terminals (VGTs) and other areas for the authorities to consider.
Gambling Compliance’s Chris Krafcik wrote around 30 different tweets on the subject, demonstrating its complexity. However, his most recent post sums up the excitement we all feel.
30/ Why tweet re: this bill? It’s going to change, right? [Right. Still, it’s prob. the most ambitious exp. of gambling I’ve seen proposed.]
— Chris Krafcik (@CKrafcik) June 7, 2017
When Will We Know Whether Online Gaming in Pennsylvania Has Been Regulated!?
If you’re thinking: “forget about tweets, negotiations and the rest, when is online gaming coming to Pennsvylania!?”, we understand the frustration. The entire saga has been rumbling on for far too long now, years to be precise, so it’s about time some form of conclusion happened.
However, Netent Casino are disappointed to say that there is no finishing line in sight just yet, as a deal now needs to be discussed between Senate and House representatives. The Senate will reconvene on Monday, and we’ll be keeping a close eye, as ever, on any updates.