Pennsylvania Gambling Expansion Passes State House
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has finally taken action on the state’s proposed changes for gambling, which could lead to massive changes. The issue has been a hot topic for more than 12 months, and this week, it finally went before the house. However, controversy seems to follow the gambling industry sometimes, and this bill was no different.
Pennsylvania Bill Brings Massive Changes
The bill, called House Bill 271, would allow for massive, sweeping changes to the gambling industry in the state. If it is passed, it will allow for slot machines to be placed in numerous locations, such as airports and bars. The bill will also allow for online gambling and lays the groundwork for legal sports betting, should the federal ban be lifted. There’s more; it also allows for lotteries to sell tickets online and for daily fantasy sports.
The controversy surrounding the bill has to do with the fact that it is around 700 pages. However, just hours after being introduced to the house, it was rushed to a vote. In the end, the House of Representatives passed the bill by 102-89, a fairly close result.
The bill will allow any establishment in Pennsylvania that holds a liquor license to offer slot machines. This means that any bar, hotel, restaurant, or club that wants to offer slots will be able to do so.
Bill Resolves Share Tax Issues with State
One of the biggest problems surrounding gambling was the tax share. Previously, establishments offering gambling would be required to pay Pennsylvania $10 million per year, or 2% of its gross slot revenue, whichever was greater. However, this was ruled unconstitutional. The new bill will require large gambling operators to pay the $10 million, plus the 2% tax on slot revenue. However, smaller operators would only have to pay the 2% tax.
The bill isn’t law yet, as it remains to be seen if the high chamber will support the bill. It also remains to be seen if the Governor of the state will sign it, provided it reaches his desk. However, things are looking good for the new laws around gambling in the state.