Pennsylvania Senator Wants to See Online Gambling Legalized in 2017Published January 9, 2017 by Elana K
Pennsylvania State Senator Jay Costa announced that he plans to introduce an omnibus gaming bill that would legalize both online gambling and daily fantasy sports, among other things.
2017 may just be the year that Pennsylvania legalizes online gambling. State Senator Jay Costa of the Keystone State announced that he plans to introduce an omnibus gaming bill that would legalize both online gambling and daily fantasy sports (DFS), among other things. Most importantly, Costa predicts that following through on his proposed legislation could yield the state an estimated $137 million in tax revenue.
Details of Proposed Legislation
Costa’s omnibus bill will include legalizing online gambling and fantasy sports, authorizing the state lottery to offer online lottery games, and rectifying the current tax on land-based gaming facilities, which will give host jurisdictions the revenue they need.
Breakdown of Online Gambling Revenue
Costa outlined a breakdown of the revenue that could be brought in from online gambling alone - a whopping $125 million, which would be a lifesaver for the state’s already-overdrawn budget. Internet Gaming Licensing Fees would cost $10 million each, and with 10 openings, that could lead to $100 million. Internet Gaming Vendor Fees would be $5 million each, and with 5 openings, that could lead to another $25 million.
There would also be a tax on online gambling revenues to the tune of 25%, and DFS operators would need to pay a $2.5 million licensing fee.
Online Gambling is a Priority This Year
2016 was a bit of a heartbreaker for online gambling supporters in Pennsylvania. The House had approved two bills that included regulation of online gambling, but they never made it past the Senate. This year, however, a number of lawmakers have openly put online gambling on their lists of priorities: Senator Kim Ward and Representative Rosita Youngblood.
However, even with the support of other lawmakers, the taxes proposed in Costa's bill are a bit high, even for the likes of DFS giants DraftKings and FanDuel. Therefore, the bill might need to undergo a few revisions in order for it to get pushed ahead, and finally approved, in 2017.