New Pennsylvania Report Bodes Well for Pennsylvania Online Gaming

Published May 10, 2014 by OCR Editor

New report on the future of gambling in Pennsylvania states that online gambling would complement, not endanger, land-based casinos.

This week saw the release of a report on the future of Pennsylvania's gambling industry. The outlook for online gambling? Optimistic.

The report, "The Current Condition and Future Viability of Casino Gaming in Pennsylvania," was mandated by Pennsylvania lawmakers and conducted by Econsult Solutions. Here are some of the main points of the report, which surveyed industry experts and casino owners, and also built upon past research:

  • Online gambling would complement, not endanger, land-based gambling. This is because online gambling would cater to a "separate market" than land-based casinos. Factors that led to this conclusion are:
  • The average amounts wagered online are smaller than average wagers at land-based casinos
  • Online gaming is a substitute for other forms of home entertainment, not a substitute for traditional casino games
  • Online Gaming offers high revenue potential - higher than that of fantasy sports and slots at Pennsylvania airports. Online gaming in Pennsylvania is projected to earn $110 million in revenue, should it ever be implemented
  • Land-based casino revenue is in danger due to the steep competition from casinos in New York, Maryland and Ohio, as well as the strengthening of Atlantic City in New Jersey. Online gambling would seek to supplement this deficit.

Report Cautions Against High Tax Rates

The report does warn about the high tax rates of Pennsylvania, which is 20% for poker and 60% for slot-style games, and recommends that  "lower rates may be optimal in the short-run. To account for this, legislation could set a lower rate initially that increases to 20% and 60% respectively over time."

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