Online Gambling Legalised In 4th US State
Pennsylvanian governor, Tom Wolf has approved a wide reaching new gambling bill for Pennsylvania. This bill will provide a solid foundation for the legalisation of online gambling in the state, but it also has a few other clauses and amendments that have a few people quite upset. Some members of government complained that they did not have enough time to fully read and understand the bill and that it was approved too quickly.
That said, the bill definitely had many proponents, mostly stemming from the fact that this bill will play a large role in plugging the state’s $2.2 billion budget deficit. Pennsylvania now becomes the 4th state to offer its residents legal and safe online gambling. Rumours have also abound that the state will now join the online poker network that also includes New Jersey and Delaware as members.
The bill addresses online gambling in a very significant way but it also expands other legal forms of gambling in the state. This includes the development of 10 “mini” casinos and the laws governing Video Betting Terminals at a variety of truck stops and other venues in the state. In addition online lottery options will also now be available to residents. Last year the state lottery brought in over a billion dollars for the state and the new online lottery options is expected to provide some additional revenue.
There will also be online gambling options made available at 8 airports but Wolf was at pains to state that this new bill is not designed to take away from the revenue already generated by land based casino, this would be self defeating. The state is looking to increase its gambling revenue rather than simply shuffling funds around.
Complaints Over High Taxation
The main aim of this bill is to generate income for the state and this is where the biggest kick back has come from. Chris Sheffield from Penn National highlighted the fact that slot machines will be taxed at a rate of 54%, with table games being taxed at 16%. Sheffield claims that this makes slot games unprofitable except if you are a land based casino that has been in the industry for decades. There were also complaints about “sweetheart” deals for existing land based casino and with Chris Christie at the helm, it won’t be surprising if there has been a few kickbacks involved.
Still, all in all the passing of this bill is essential for the growth of online gambling in the US. Senators and governors are realising more and more that it provides an excellent source of tax revenue and it is the will of the people.
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