The media reports have recently revealed that the Pennsylvania senate hill has planned to introduced gambling expansion bill that will focus on online poker. In an interview with Online Poker Report, Senator Mario Scavello, chairperson of the Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee revealed that this bill is likely to offer an opportunity to companies other than PA casinos to attain their online gambling license.
So, in short, these entities will then be able to apply for the 12 open internet gambling licenses of the state.
Reasons Behind Casinos not Participating in PA Online Gambling License
It is known that majority of the casinos are in favor of the legalization of PA online gambling. Furthermore, the news stated that pro-online MGM is planning to takeover Sands Bethlehem, one of the holdouts. On the other hand, Parx is expected to lobby against iGaming. The casinos that are operating both traditional and online casinos are likely to disagree with the 54-percent tax rates for the online slots. It is because they pay the same amount in their brick and mortar establishments.
It is quite significant that these casinos agree with the proposed rates. Otherwise, it would cause a big loss to the state. In that case, the state might lose tens of millions of dollars in licensing fees. To prevent such a situation, Scavello has a plan. He will call upon other interested casinos other than PA casinos to acquire licenses.
In the Words of Scavello About the Online Gambling License
Scavello stated that he hopes that all the 12 licenses will be filled up by 12 casinos. If the the traditional casinos don’t get the licenses, then the senate will have to invite other companies to do the same. However, he prefers an active participation of PA online casinos but holds a rescue plan if that does not happen. In addition to this, he said that the casinos will have either 90 or 120 days. During that time, they can apply for the license after the governor has signed the bill.
If any license is still left to be filled, the application process would then be able to all. Scavello added that these casinos now have a limited time to ponder. They need to reach a final decision of whether they wish to participate or not soon. He is confident that if one casino will reject the offer then there will be some other accepting it.
About the Gambling Expansion Bill and Online Gambling License
The bill will include online poker and is aimed at discarding video gaming terminals completely. Imposing a tax rate of 16% is likely to be finalised in this bill. But the discussions about local share tax are still under negotiations. Chris Krafcik of Gambling Compliance stated that CERD might support the view of rendering distinct iGaming licenses for casino and poker.
When it comes to Scavello’s take on this, he mentions that his preference is offering 12 licenses. It will include one for both casino as well as poker. He ensures that casinos will show great interest in buying them all. He added that all the table games are going to be taxed at the same rate of poker.
Taxing Online Gambling at the Maximum Rate With the Help of Online Gambling License
It is true that the PA casinos have survived at the 54% tax rate. It was imposed by the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act, 2004. The state aims at taking the revenue from the traditional casinos. They intend to move a percent of it to the online casinos. In order to prevent any falls, the state needs to have the same percentage today also, as stated by Scavello. Therefore, it is hopeful that PA gambling world will flourish better in the coming years with the new proposed bill.