Online Gaming Bill Introduced in Pennsylvania

Online Gaming Bill Introduced in Pennsylvania

Rep. Tina Davis

Rep. Tina Davis (D-Bucks)

Roughly three months after she first said it would be introduced in “a few weeks”, Rep. Tina Davis (D-Bucks) finally introduced her online gaming bill in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives last Friday. The bill would provide for the legalization, regulation and taxation of all forms of internet gaming, including online poker.

Davis’ bill would provide casino gaming licensees to apply for “internet gaming certificates” that would be valid for three years. Licensees would be subject to a one-time licensing fee of $5,000,000 and renewal fees of $500,000.

The bill does not allow players from outside Pennsylvania (say, in neighboring states of New York, New Jersey, Ohio or Maryland) to establish online gaming accounts with Pennsylvania licensees. As opposed to states like Nevada, which allows players to play online poker if they’re physically present within Nevada, whether or not they’re residents of the state, the Pennsylvania bill requires that Pennsylvania online gaming account holders must be residents and that they must go to a Pennsylvania casino in order to set up their accounts.

Obviously the residency requirement won’t be an issue for players from states like New Jersey if Pennsylvania enters into an interstate compact with New Jersey – which the bill does allow, contrary to Davis’ own remarks last month that her bill would not provide for compacts. But players who live in neighboring states that haven’t yet authorized online gaming won’t be able to pop across the state line in order to play a few hands of poker.

Pennsylvania, in keeping with its aggressive taxation of brick-and-mortar gaming facilities, has set the tax rate applicable to internet gaming at 28% of gross gaming revenues.

The bill has been referred to the House’s 25-member Gaming Oversight committee. Davis is a member of that committee but her Democratic party is in the minority. Republicans hold a comfortable 15-10 committee majority.

Davis did not make a compelling case for online gaming in Pennsylvania when she appeared on Pennsylvania’s equivalent of C-SPAN to talk up the bill last month. She stated at that time that she hadn’t solicited any feedback on her bill from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and professed no knowledge of the contents of online gaming laws in Nevada, Delaware or New Jersey.

Her effort will be complicated by a Republican colleague, Paul Clymer, who also sits on the Gaming Oversight Committee. In late February, he announced his intention to introduce legislation banning online gaming in Pennsylvania, stating, “Many of us recognize the serious problem of gambling addiction and the related social problems that would occur if internet gambling were legalized.”

COMMENTS

Leave a Comment

*

LATEST NEWS

filter by

Dan Katz

22nd April 2019 // Industry, Legal News, News

Two Sports Betting Bills Active in Maine Legislature

As legalized sports betting continues to creep across the United States, lawmakers in Maine are looking to help their...

Haley Hintze

21st April 2019 // Industry, Misc, News, Online Poker Action

The Death of Seating Scripts a/k/a PokerStars Expands Script Ban

One of the topics we’ve wanted to explore in greater detail are the continuing changes to the playing environment...

Haley Hintze

21st April 2019 // Industry, Legal News, Misc, News

New Hampshire v DOJ Wire Act Lawsuit Update: The Skirmish Over ‘Whoever’

The ongoing legal battle pitting the State of New Hampshire against the DOJ and its January 2019 reversal opinion...

Haley Hintze

21st April 2019 // Industry, Misc, News

US-Based Anti-Fraud Group SWIMA Announces Its Official Launch

The United States-based Sports Wagering Integrity Monitoring Association (SWIMA) has announced its official launch as...

Haley Hintze

20th April 2019 // Legal News, Misc, News

Another Guilty Plea in Kansas Underground Poker Case

The prominent underground poker game centered in Wichita, Kansas, that was raided by authorities in 2017 after years of...

Dan Katz

19th April 2019 // Industry, News

Pennsylvania Sets Online Poker Launch Date for this Summer

Pennsylvanians can finally start getting their hopes up for online poker as date has finally been set for sites to flip...