Pennsylvania senators present new online gambling bill

23 March 2017

Pennsylvania is to consider a new online gambling and reform bill as the US state continues to contemplate the possible legalisation of internet gaming.

Put forward by a number of Democratic state senators, Senate Bill 524 focuses on legalising and regulating online gambling in general across Pennsylvania, and also includes language to legalise daily fantasy sports and online lottery in the state.

Bill 524 is the third piece of internet gambling legislation to have been put forward in Pennsylvania, following SB 477 and HB 392.

While the latest bill includes some of the same language and measures as its predecessors, it does set out a number of reforms that differ to the other bills.

Bill 524 calls for the restoration of the local tax imposed on host and surrounding communities, as well as mobile tablet gaming at select airports in the state and fixing the slots tax imposed on Category 3 casinos.

However, the latest bill would impose a 25% tax on online gambling activities, which is considerably higher than the 14% proposed in HB 392.

Bill 524 also includes a proposal to set the cost of an online gambling licence of approximately $10 million (€9.3 million), higher than the $8 million set out in the other bill, as well as a higher rate for industry vendors.

Pennsylvania’s House Gaming Oversight Committee is due to consider gambling expansion plans in the state at its next hearing on March 28.

Related article: Pennsylvania lawmaker expects legalised online gaming by March