Regulated online gambling could generate as much as $400 million in tax revenue over its first six years of operation. That’s the extremely optimistic viewpoint put forward in a recent study produced by onlinepokerreport.com analyst Robert DellaFave.

DellaFave’s report was commissioned by supporters of the effort to legalize online gambling in Pennsylvania and includes $146 million in first year licensing fees and $46 million a year in tax revenues for the state over the first five years of the project.

Pennsylvania lawmakers, particularly those who are skeptical about online gambling, are not buying DellaFave’s rosy outlook on the future of Keystone State online gambling.

In an interview with the Morning Call, Representative Scott Petri, who also chairs the House Gaming Oversight Committee, had this to say about the report:

I view every piece of information about this skeptically because everyone has a bias in some way. But I’m still interested in the report. We’ll take everything into account.

John Ashbrook of the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling was less kind in his interpretation of the report saying:

These predictions are about as reliable as Warren Beatty’s best picture envelope. It’s not surprising that online gaming consultants would exaggerate numbers to help their business.

Ashbrook’s group, it should be noted, is funded by a radicalized billionaire named Sheldon Adelson.

Dellabrook’s bosses at OnlinePokerReport defended his numbers, saying that the projections were based on numbers generated in New Jersey during its first years of online gambling.

New Jersey is, indeed, the impetus for Pennsylvania’s foray into regulated online gambling. The two states are locked in a never ending battle for Eastern casino customers and, as of late, online gambling has been New Jersey’s only advantage over its thriving neighbor’s massive casino industry.

As it stands today, however, online gambling is still not legal in Pennsylvania.


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