Legalized Online Gambling in Pennsylvania?Published March 18, 2015 by Elana K
Will Pennsylvania be the next state to legalize online gambling? Rep. John Payne certainly hopes so.
In February 2015, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe proposed a number of tax increases to help cover a $2.3 billion budget deficit. Obviously, increased taxes is not something that Pennsylvania constituents want. Many have called for an alternative option, and that option was suggested in the same month by John Payne, chairman of the State House Gaming Oversight Committee. The alternative? Legalized online gambling.
The revenue that Pennsylvania could generate from regulating online gambling could very well reduce the need of additional personal taxes. In fact, Payne has predicted a grand $120 million in revenue should Pennsylvania legalize online gambling, and he calls that number conservative.
Payne said, “If I have choice of an income-tax increase or additional gaming revenue, I'm taking additional gaming revenue.”
Forecast for 2015 Online Gambling
A study conducted by GamblingCompliance predicted that eight to 11 US states will consider bills authorizing or amending Internet-gambling laws in 2015.
As of now, only Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware have passed regulations allowing online gambling, and all were rather disappointed on some level in 2014, as tax revenue came nowhere near its predicted amounts. In New Jersey, supporters of online gambling had predicted an online market anywhere from $200 million to $1 billion a year; the actual revenue was closer to $120 million, with 15% of that going to the state.
CEO of Central Account Management Systems, Matt Katz, commented that state governments should understand that online gambling is an investment; it doesn’t necessarily pay off immediately. “When you look at Europe, the growth of a regulated market takes a good three to five years before it really hits its stride, to where the industry is generating a good amount of taxable revenue for the state,” he said.
Despite his words of caution, Katz is a proponent of online gambling, and supports linking online casinos with land-based casinos. He is hopeful that Pennsylvania's legislation will be approved, and that other states will join in as well.