Will Pennsylvania Online Gaming Ever Become a Reality?Published August 14, 2015 by Elana K
Legalized online gambling in Pennsylvania does not look like it will become a reality in 2015.
July 1 was the soft deadline for the Keystone State’s budget setting, but over a month later, the legislature has still not been able to come to any sort of agreement. And while online gambling has been an issue that has been on the table in the state’s legislature for quite a while, the new budget has not included talk of internet gambling.
No Bipartisan Agreement
Newly-elected Pennsylvania governor, (democrat) Tom Wolf, would like to increase revenue by creating new taxes. Republicans, on the other side, want more revenue without raising taxes. Towards this end, gaming reforms could act as some sort of lifesaver, especially online gaming. But as of now, gaming reforms have all been thrown out, except for online gambling, though the air about the legislature does not bode well for that either.
As of now, the only thing that both parties agree upon is that the state needs more revenue.
It Doesn’t Look Like 2015 Is the Year
Penn National, one of Pennsylvania’s 12 casino operators, has been supporting internet gaming in the state since talk of it began. However, even they now say the outlook is bleak. “We don’t expect anything happening in ’15, but we’ve been encouraged by the hearings that we’ve participated in, in and around the state of Pennsylvania, that there’s more of an appetite to consider these options than there ever has been,” said Tim Wilmott, CEO of Penn National.
Wilmott’s statement is both depressing and optimistic; while regulating online gambling in Pennsylvania this year would have been a great victory for the pro-online gambling party, there is still hope that next year may bring better news. And if Pennsylvania does end up passing legislation for online gambling in the next year, that means that the number of US residents who are allowed to play online poker will actually double.