US Update: Pennsylvania on the Fence About Online GamblingPublished May 22, 2014 by OCR Editor
The fate of online gambling in Pennsylvania must be decided by the end of June; as of now, lawmakers are still on the fence.
Pennsylvania is one of a number of states considering legalizing online gambling, following in the footsteps of Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. However, lawmakers seem to have differing opinions on whether or not to move ahead. Those that do want to move ahead with legalization need to move quickly, as the state's final budget is due on June 30, 2014, and if there is no amendment for iGaming, it will not be included.
Ups and Downs
In April, there was an online gambling hearing that took place in Pennsylvania, and the results sounded quite positive. However, there lacked a sense of urgency, which showed analysts that legislation for online gambling in 2014 was a far cry away.
A week after the hearing, though, the legislature heard findings from the online gambling study they had commissioned way back in December 2013, which was also very positive. Analysts then thought that 2014 might indeed be a possibility. Of course, one of the main benefits that the report was the potential revenue from online gambling, which was estimated to be as high as $300 million.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Opponents to online gaming, such as Representative Bryan Cutler, claim that online gaming will simply take money away from land-based casinos, not create a new market. Proponents of online gambling say this is simply not true. Moreover, representative Mike Sturla pointed out that online gambling revenue could be easily tracked, which means that the state would be able to see whether players report all their earnings (and of course, all earnings need to be taxed). He added, "Someone winning small amounts of money at a casino on, say, slots, may not file taxes, but such winnings could be tracked with online gambling."