Pennsylvania’s gambling enlargement drive prepared itself for a legislative unfolding on 7 June 2017. The PA House of Representatives passed an enormous gaming package that contained the authorisation of online gambling and daily fantasy sports late on Wednesday. Two weeks following the passing of the online gambling bill by the state Senate, with iGaming, also contained, the House of Representatives has disclosed its converse suggestion, formulating numerous modifications to HB 271. The corrected bill was certified by the House Rules Committee and later was passed by the complete House of Representatives with a vote of 102-89; the bill was moved to the Senate for unanimity.
There are slight cases of conflicts among the two segments of legislation. Regrettably, two of the most crucial elements contain conditions where the House and Senate differ from one another. The largest staggering obstructs for the bill is the re-addition of conditions permitting video gaming terminals at private hotels.
There are going to be similar aspects in the two bills. Both the bills will include the following:
- Solve the local share tax problem
- Authorise and regulate online gambling
- Authorise and regulate daily fantasy sports
- Legalise the Pennsylvania lottery to trade products online
- Legalise tablet gaming at specific Pennsylvania airports
- Discard the Category 3 amenity necessity for a one-time fee
Disagreements on Online Gambling Bill and Tax Rate
One of the main points of difference between the House and Senate involves online gambling licensing fees and tax rates. The House bill levies a 16% tax rate on online gambling and it also needs a single up-front licensing fee of $8 million. The Senate’s gaming package imposes a 54% tax rate on online slots and casino table games as well as a 16% tax rate on online poker. The Senate has divided the gaming licenses into two, with a casino license for $5 million and a poker license for the same amount.
Legalisation of Video Gaming Terminals
In supplement to an entirely varied online gambling tax rate, the House joined a very questionable modification: the legalisation of Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs), which are similar to slot machines. Under the House bill, maximum 5 VGTs would be permitted in the majority of places with a liquor license and maximum of 10 would be permitted at truck stops and off-track gambling parlors. VGTs hardly passed the House and will encounter more resistance in the Senate. It may be possible that VGTs could kill the whole bill as they are resisted by powerful casino interests.
Differences Between the Two Online Gambling Bills
The House has imposed a tax rate of 19% on daily fantasy sports. On the other hand, the Senate imposes a tax rate of 12% on DFS.
Moreover, the House has fixed the least age of engaging in real-money fantasy sports at 18 whereas the Senate has fixed it at 21.
It should be rather easy for the two legislative bodies to achieve midway on most of these simple fix problems.
The Future of PA Online Gambling Bill
It is not wholly apparent what action Senate will take with the House variant of the bill. The Senate is off until Monday. The next probable action is a conference committee, where the House and Senate can amend their conflicts. It would contain representatives of both chambers gathering to derive a solution for the final content of the bill. It appears improbable that the Senate will acclaim VGTs, which have not been profitable in the past.
The two legislative bodies also need to find a midway on the online gambling tax rate. Online gambling is still in a doubtful situation because of these differences among the bodies for the gaming bill.