Pennsylvania Officially Legalizes Online Gambling

Pennsylvania Officially Legalizes Online Gambling

Online gambling is now legal in the US state of Pennsylvania, after House Bill 271 was approved last week by both the Pennsylvania House and Senate, and signed into law by Governor Tim Wolf. This makes Pennsylvania the fourth state in the country to legalize iGaming.

The expansive gambling package permits regulation and legalization of online slots, poker and table games within Pennsylvania’s boundaries. The state’s existing commercial casinos will now be allowed to apply for a new online gaming license and start offering services to gambling consumers though desktop, mobile and tablet devices.

Licenses will initially cost $10 million each. However, if not all of these license are claimed after the initial roll-out, the licenses that haven’t been picked up will be available for certain market segments at a lower price of $4 million.

What’s more, the bill will allow for the creation of 10 mini casinos, for truck stops to operate video gaming terminals, and for passengers at the airport to play games on their tablets.

In addition, the online gambling bill also opens up the potential for fantasy sports operators to begin offering services in Pennsylvania, and the state lottery will be permitted to sell tickets online as well.

Not everyone is pleased with the new law

The passing of the online gambling bill may be good news for some, but not everyone is thrilled with it. Part of the problem is that Pennsylvania intends to tax online slots at a rate of 54% and tax poker and table games at 16%.

Senior Vice-President and Managing Director Interactive for PA casino operator Penn National, Chris Sheffield, criticized the 54% online slots tax and said that he can’t image anyone making a return with a tax this high unless they are in it for the long haul.

“Obviously we are pleased that this has finally moved but 54% for online slots is the highest tax rate on the planet,” Sheffield said in an interview with iGaming Business.

“It’s completely unworkable and the only reason one might buy a licence is to then begin an active lobbying effort to reduce the rate to where one might actually make money on the operation.”

In addition to Pennsylvania, online gambling is legal in the US states of New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware.

About The Author

As both a player and a fan of strategy analysis in the area of online gambling, my goal is to share the latest information and news about online casinos and the games that they offer. My background was originally in writing guidebooks for the individual games, as well as for tournaments, but after a decade of that, I chose to expand my experience to writing honest, objective, and helpful articles.

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