Pennsylvania Legalizes Online Poker
The state of Pennsylvania has shown the green flag to online poker and iGaming. Read the whole news here!
For the supporters of online poker gaming in Pennsylvania, it’s a great news and a big victory that the state legislature has finally passed the bill that will allow online gaming and online poker to be carried out as a legal activity within the state borders. This will be the 4th state in the United States to regulate and authorize online gaming.
H 271, the amended iGaming bill was passed in the Senate on Wednesday, and is already signed into law by Tom Wolf, in order to legalize internet gaming. In 2016, the state covered a lot of ground in the iGaming legislation, following the breakdown of budget negotiations leading into 2017, but eventually winning the cause this Thursday.
Brief Details Of The Bill
In addition to DFS, table games, slots and online poker, the amended bill also permits video gaming terminals at truck stops, tablet gaming in authorized zones, online lottery sales and sports betting. It also proposes modifications in casinos of Category 3, removing membership fees to include one-time fee and more slot games.
By passing this legislation, the biggest advantage that the state will gain is the accrual of tax revenues from online casinos. It is similar to the bill passed in New Jersey, however, the tax rate stands at 54% in case of Pennsylvania. For DFS and sports betting, the tax rates are 15% and 36% respectively. For table games and online poker, taxation seems to be reasonable, but for online slots, it’s just high enough to get operators offering their products. It will be interesting to see how they react, since the steep tax rates can impact the number of casinos releasing their product in the market. Ideally, the rate should go down to reach the full revenue potential of iGaming.
As the law stands, the state bill offers three distinct licenses for peer-to-peer games like poker, house-banked games and online slots. Existing casino operators can buy all the licenses for $10 million within 90 days of availability, and out-of-the-state operators can apply for the same after 120 days.
It’s A Win-Win Situation For Everyone
Passing of the bill shows the efforts put by many people behind it. It was in the year 2013 that New Jersey passed this revolutionary legislation, and 4 years down the line, Pennsylvania followed the suit. According to the Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance, this is a huge victory for consumers who have fought for protection. This will not only support the revenue for state budget, but also provide growth opportunities for land-based casinos. Pappas also highlighted the level of success achieved by iGaming in New Jersey, and how it will potentially grow in future.
The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) has always been at the forefront of a strong fight for regulated and licensed internet gaming across the United States, and especially in the state of Pennsylvania. They made their voices heard through social media, phone calls and emails, which eventually did the trick. You can also be the one joining the fight for legalization of online gaming in your respective state.