Second consecutive week for Pennsylvania Online Gaming Legislation debate
June 20, 2015
The hearing took place earlier this week; Pennsylvania is facing a deficit of $1.2 billion and online gambling could be the answer to the state prayers. For some, PA online gaming legislation could be the solution; for some others, the legislation would only help to fight the deficit in a short term as, raising taxes seems to be the only solution that many politicians can come out with. At this point, the State Government, represented by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, is trying to put an end to this deficit by avoiding tax increases. And the online gaming legislation seems to be the only practical key; in spite of this, the state has already received five bills this year. This brings up the fact that opponents, such as the leader of movement against online gaming, Sheldon Adelson, have been present in all of the State’s hearings to slow down the hearings. Others like Parx CEO Bob Green, want online gambling but applying some restrictions, like online players’ registration process explicitly through land-based casinos in the state.
PA regulators seem to be a little concerned about both, the state budget and the high deficit. And those are basically several of the main reasons why the committee hearings are being held in PA, for the second consecutive week. Regulators are keeping an eye on PA online gambling legislation debates. Pennsylvania Senator Kim Ward, from the Community, Economic & Recreational Development Committee, has once again proposed online gaming legislation in the state during this week’s hearing. But the main backer for online gambling in the state was Kevin O’Toole, Director of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board: “The industry is beginning to reach a stabilized period. It is probably safe to say that the industry will not see the explosive growth of years past, and it will probably also not see any staggering decline in revenues. It will lessen costs without sacrificing oversight. Security measures will never be foolproof. There will always be a bad parent or a sophisticated person who wants to undermine the system; in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware seem to be working.”