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The state of Pennsylvania has introduced a new bill that would legalize online gambling in the state, with Republican Representative John Payne introducing the bill.
The bill is formally known as HB649, and has the following stipulations:
14 percent tax on gross revenue;
Licensing exclusive to companies already licensed by the state to provide Pennsylvanians with gambling;
A licensing fee of $5 million per licence.
Limits on deposits and losses, along with tough precautions against underaged or problem gamblers and criminal activity.
Payne justified his bill to fellow Republicans, noting, "...developments in technology and recent legal decisions have created an opportunity to legalize interactive gaming as a means to further enhance and complement the benefits delivered by casino gaming, licensed facilities and the communities in which they operate."
He went on to issue a statement Payne said, “Right now millions of Americans, including Pennsylvanians, participate in illegal online gaming where no regulation currently exists. By enacting effective state policy, we can help curb the illegal market while ensuring strong safeguards are in place to protect consumers.”
"A recent study released by a Philadelphia-based economic consulting firm named Internet gaming the largest potential new revenue source for Pennsylvania’s gaming industry. If enacted, the study estimates online gaming would generate approximately $120 million in the state for the first year. Some gaming officials have estimated it could bring an excess of $300 million in ongoing revenue.
“We are currently facing a projected $2 billion budget shortfall. I think it’s important we consider all responsible options to boost revenue before we consider asking our taxpayers for more money to fill that deficit. The implementation of legalized online gaming in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware demonstrates the technologies exist to regulate Internet gaming safely and effectively."
Casino Listings will update this story as more developments arise.