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Pennsylvania Poised for Online Poker, Casinos, and Sportsbooks


Pennsylvania continues to display a progressive attitude towards online gambling. The state has been approving gaming companies for online licenses, and legislators plan to approve more gaming permits in the near future. It has only been a year since Governor Tom Wolf added his signature to the state's bill for legal online gambling. Pennsylvania has moved quickly to get the operations up and running. 

The most recent companies to be granted a license to provide online gaming are Presque Isle Downs, Inc. and Stadium Casino, LLC. Presque Isle Downs will look to provide a full online casino while Stadium Casino will focus on the online poker market. Both companies have provided $10 million to obtain their gaming licenses. 

Presque Isle Downs will look to Churchill Downs and BetAmerica for administration of their online gaming venues. These companies have vast experience in providing online betting for horse racing. The partnership could be beneficial for horse racing in Pennsylvania which has seen revenues diminish in recent years. 

The long-term goal for Pennsylvania is to catch up to New Jersey in terms of the revenue that is produced from online gaming. Some have projected that Pennsylvania stands to gain as much as $300 million from online gambling. This would push the state past New Jersey which expects to earn $260 million in 2018. One of the reasons that Pennsylvania's projections are so high is that the tax on gaming revenues will be high compared to other states. 

Casino operators in Pennsylvania will pay a 16% tax on revenues from poker and table games. For slots, the operators will pay 54%. In contrast, New Jersey taxes all forms of online gaming at 15% across the board. 

Many are worried that the high tax rate on slot revenues will keep many operators out of the state. Slots are the primary money earner for online casinos. There are others who believe that fewer operators could actually benefit gambling in Pennsylvania. Players will have fewer choices of where to spend their gaming dollar. 

What is known for certain is that Pennsylvania residents over the age of 21 will soon be able to play casino games online for real money. The success of online gambling in the state could convince other states to do the same.

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