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Pennsylvania Takes The Leap To Legalize Online Gambling

November 6, 2017

What is so wrong with spending your own money how you see fit? That is how many who advocate for the legalization of online gambling make their argument. They would like to see more states legalize and regulate the practice. They point out that it could raise massive amounts of revenue for the states, and could provide more freedoms for those who like to gamble. 

Pennsylvania is now the fourth state to legalize online gambling within its borders. The state House and Senate passed a bill that would allow for this, and the Governor signed it into law. 

The land-based casinos that currently exist within Pennsylvania are allowed to purchase a permit to offer games electronically to their players. These games may be offered over laptops, desktops, or even tablets. It is expected that the license will cost any casino that wants one ten million dollars paid to the state. Still, that is money that can be quickly recouped by the casinos when they open up operations to having players gamble electronically. 

Taxes collected by the State of Pennsylvania are expected to be huge. They are going to tax the slot play at a rate of fifty-four percent. Online poker is only going to have a tax rate of sixteen percent. At the same time, the State has given the green light to the lottery to begin selling their tickets online as well. 

The way that the bill is written, it certainly plays out well for the State. However, there are some who are critical of it saying that it benefits the government too much while not giving enough room for the casinos to make their profits. Some have said that the tax rate being set as high as it is means that there will be no point for the casinos to even attempt online operations. They just don't have the incentive to do so. 

Pennsylvania has joined just a handful of other states that have legalized online gambling. Those states are New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada. They have all done their own versions of legalization. For example, Nevada has online legalized online poker not casino games. However, these states are seeing almost immediate positive impacts on their state revenue. Therefore, others are likely to see this and consider doing the same within their own borders. 

The Federal Government has essentially banned online gambling in the United States via certain laws that have been passed which make it very difficult to legally withdrawal money from online gambling sites. This has more or less stalled them from gaining any real traction with players in the United States. In fact, many have abandoned the United States market entirely. However, certain states are starting to reverse that tide and provide players with the opportunity to gamble. This will likely remain something that is considered a state issue. With the Federal Government unlikely to act, state governments have to decide for themselves.


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