Pennsylvania Online Gambling Faces Obstacles Before it StartsPublished January 1, 2018 by Elana K
Since Pennsylvania passed the regulation bill in October, not much has happened since, and the PGCB is facing obstacles before the initiative even gets off the ground..
Pennsylvania made history this year by becoming the fourth state to legalize online gambling within state borders. But since Pennsylvania passed the regulation bill in October, not much has happened since. Most of the steps forward are expected to take place within the next year; but a lot has to happen before online gambling becomes a reality.
Experts foresee that one of the obstacles that could get in the way of the success of Pennsylvania online gambling is the high licensing fee and the high tax rate on slots. Pennsylvania’s online gambling bill calls for a $10 million licensing fee, a 16% tax on poker and table game revenue, and a 54% tax on slots revenue. Almost all of these figures are incredibly high, and experts say that can prove destructive.
Another issue that has not yet been decided on is how many skins (branded websites) online gambling operators will be allowed to offer. This was left blank in the bill, and it needs to be decided before moving forward.
There is talk that the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) wants to limit each operator to one skin, but critics say this is another destructive move, one that will limit both the expansion and the profit that Pennsylvania online gambling has to offer. They point to New Jersey, which limits the number of operator brands, but not skins. New Jersey is a good model to compare to, as it recently hit the $200 million mark in revenue and is considered the paradigm of successful online gambling.
It's Up to the PGCB
Both the Pennsylvania Senate and House will reconvene on January 2, but ultimately, it’s up to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to make the hard decisions and then propel the bill forward.