This week the president of the Pennsylvania Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association wrote a letter to the editor of Penn Live wherein he opposed the passage of a bill that would legalize online gambling, as he feels it threatens his industry.
Tim Shea wrote the letter wherein he says that he opposes the bill, citing a study that claims cannibalizes land revenue. Writing to the publication Shea Writes: "A recent study published in the University of Nevada Las Vegas Gaming Research and Review Journal found that Internet gaming cannibalizes commercial casino revenues by 27 to 30 percent. In Pennsylvania, this would have a devastating impact."
The study that Shea cited reads: "This study therefore provides some evidence that in an online gaming market characterized by loose regulation, and relatively easy access, online gaming will cannibalize some commercial casino revenue at a rate of 27 to 30 cents on the dollar."
What Shea failed to note though, was the fact that there is a rider to the study which warned about small sample size. That rider reads: "Despite the robustness of the findings across different models in this study, the short history of online gaming led to a fairly small data set. Therefore, some caution should be exercised when using these results in decision making processes."
Those familiar with the betting industry will also point out that there are further studies that show little to no cannibalization of revenues, especially in the state of New Jersey, where it was discovered that most online gamblers had not visited a land casino in several months.
It is possible that Shea is lobbying for his group to get a cut of the action should online betting be legalized in the Keystone State, and he concluded his editorial by noting: "Internet gaming has its place, but it shouldn't hurt Pennsylvania farmers and working families."