Pennsylvania Online Gaming Down to the Wire
She now lives in St. PlayPennsylvania teamed with Online Poker Report to create a white paper breaking down the new law, including all of the following:. Payne soon announced that the hearing would happen on October 18 instead, which left only a small window of time in which the Senate could pass the bill and send it to the House. That deadline can be extended if lawmakers want to keep working on the budget. Right now, gambling is only being advanced publicly by the House. Tom Wolf signed the bill into law on Oct. For reference, it took New Jersey around nine months to launch its legal market after bill passage.
Expect that process to begin in October. Meanwhile, there are licenses and fee structures for the other gambling expansion elements as well. However, that number only covers the license. The mini casinos also feature an auction process. After four licenses, the bids dried up, so the process opened up to Category 3 properties. At that point, Category 1 and 2 casinos could bid on a second property. That is what Hollywood Casino did, bidding on a second property.
With five licenses remaining from the 10, outside entities can apply to bid, however, the PGCB has not discussed that possibility. The contested video gambling terminal VGT legislation made it into the final bill. These machines are only allowed at truck stops that meet a range of requirements. Each truck stop can only have up to five machines.
These are the licensing costs and feeds:. At that rate, operators will have little left over for marketing, customer acquisition, promotions, and other business-building tools. This could hamper the growth of the industry and thus depress the amount of tax revenue the state is able to generate.
PA already taxes its land-based slots more heavily than any other state in the nation, and only recently have PA casinos managed to break a lengthy slide in slots revenue.
PlayPennsylvania teamed with Online Poker Report to create a white paper breaking down the new law, including all of the following:. In the report, we also offer a look at a lower tax rate for online casinos, which we firmly believe will help both the bottom line and the stable growth of the industry. Pennsylvania is launching iLottery, online casino, sports betting. Later in the week, the bill cleared another committee vote, then passed on the Senate floor by a vote of Other tricky elements to consider about the bill are video gaming terminals VGTs and the aforementioned casino host fee.
As we observed earlier in the week, so long as the host fee and online gambling are coupled in the same bill, iGaming proponents stand a better chance at getting the bill passed into law. The bill now moves on to the House, a group that has generally been much more supportive of online gambling than the Senate. George Dunbar , a strong proponent of the issue, spoke to Online Poker Report about what to expect.
While the current state of the bill seems dire, Dunbar assures plenty of changes are in store. We can also expect a battle on the VGT front. While lawmakers deliberated out in the open, another major deal for Pennsylvania casinos quietly died.
This week, the sale allegedly fell through. There is no definitive reason why MGM is backing off the sale, but there is plenty of speculation.
It seemed sensible Sands, an anti-online gambling company, would want out of Pennsylvania. It made even more sense MGM Resorts, who is establishing even more of an online casino presence , wanted in. It could be something to do with host fee negotiations , but the idea MGM does not want online gambling in the state does not make much sense.
This is an interesting development for the legislation. With Sands remaining in the state, will it become a vocal opponent against the measure like Parx Casino? Jessica Welman is the managing editor of PlayPennsylvania.