A Pennsylvania lawmaker has announced her intentions to propose an online gambling bill to continue the state's progression in the nation's gaming industry, as the Keystone State recently took over second place in the U.S. gambling market behind Nevada.
“A responsible Internet gaming system must be created in order to protect Pennsylvanians and the success of the established gaming industry in the Commonwealth, which has generated more than $7 billion in state tax revenue, and created more than 16,000 jobs statewide,” Rep. Tina Davis told eGaming Review.
While Pennsylvania's revenue from casino gamblers is on the rise, Atlantic City's continues to decline, causing New Jersey to fall from its second place perch in U.S. gaming. An online gambling bill that many believe could save Atlantic City casinos sits on the desk of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The unpredictable governor has expressed concerns about signing the bill into law and has until Feb. 7 to make his decision.
Davis' proposal would give the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board the authority to regulate online poker and casino games. The fee to apply for an online gaming license has been fixed at $16.7 million. The amount each operator would be taxed is dependent upon several variables, including overhead and operating costs.
With online gambling on the federal level becoming more and more unlikely following the Reid-Kyl bill's failure to gain support last year, 2013 has seen several states consider or propose online gambling legislation. Pennsylvania joins Massachusetts, Iowa and Mississippi in that category, while California Sen. Rod Wright re-introduced a bill to regulate online poker in December. Thus far, Nevada and Delaware are the only two states that have enacted some form of online gambling legislation, with the Silver State expected to be up and running with the country's first online poker sites in the first half of this year.