Pennsylvania Approves Online Gambling
Lawmakers in Pennsylvania have approved a new law that legalizes internet gambling across state. It’s a move that could seriously boost the Keystone State’s position in the US gambling hierarchy and usher in a new age of internet gambling in the United States.
HB-271 was passed by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Thursday after receiving approval from the State Senate on Wednesday. The measure is part of a sweeping package of laws designed to overhaul and update Pennsylvania’s gambling regulations.
The new suite of Pennsylvania laws reflects the trends that are shaping the small, but growing, US online gambling industry. Of particular note to operators is the fact that Pennsylvania will be taxing online slots at a whopping 54 percent on revenue.
That sky-high tax rate represents the over-sized role slots are currently playing in the US online gambling industry. In New Jersey, according to a report on CalvinAyre.com, casino games account for more than 90 percent of online gaming revenue with slots taking the lion’s share of that number.
For Pennsylvania operators, online poker and table games will be taxed at just 16 percent of revenue. The state is also offering a variety of licenses so operators who are reluctant to jump in the mix due to the high price of online slots, can offer table games and online poker, without offering slots.
As an interesting aside, Pennsylvania lawmakers wrote in provisions for taxing online sports wagering at 36 percent of revenue. Online sports betting is, currently, not legal in any US State except Nevada.