Fourth igaming Bill
State Senator Sean Wiley is working on the 4th bill governing gaming in Pennsylvania. The new bill includes online gaming and land based charges. The bill is set to legalize online poker in the state. Casino games will not be considered a part of online games and regulators are already drafting rules that will be implemented as early as 1 July 2016 for online poker rooms. Online poker rooms will be operated by companies handling casinos in the state.
Interactive gaming license will cost you $500,000 at the rate of 36% of tax. 2% of that amount will be used for promotional activities. Rest of the tax will be used for a school property freeze for senior citizens of the state. A fund called ‘Casino Reinvestment Grant Fund’ is supposed to be set up to overlook the dispersing of funds once $10 million dollars have been earned in revenue.
Another important condition in the bill includes a seven year moratorium for new gaming licenses within the state. This step is to ensure that market maturation will help regulators with precise and correct information before issuance of the rest of the licenses. The new bill is also revoking an existing law which prevents gaming companies to own more than 1/3 of a second gaming license. The bill also includes provisions for alcohol sales, racetracks licensing and tournament play procedures.
While all such efforts are hinting at positive developments in Pennsylvania, a new bill has been introduced that can undo most of the work done by pro poker parties. It is called Bill 1013 and it has seven co-sponsors who are asking for a ban on online poker in the state. The bill is championed by Representative Thomas Murt. In fact a lot of people are not able to find any difference between 1013 and HB 1404, a bill introduced by Representative Paul Clymer.
Both bills basically prevent forming of rules and regulations by the state gaming control board. They also don’t allow individuals or businesses to participate in online wagers and collect cash or currency in any forms. It is a regressive move as it will count using Bitcoin for gaming as an illegal activity. If anyone is found in violation of the ban, he or she will need to cough up $300 for the first offense, $600 for the second offense, and up to $2000 fine and a year in prison for the third offense.
It is rather odd to see this bill make a comeback especially when the state seems to be pretty interested in legalizing online gaming because they can benefit from the thriving business. Passing of HR 140 – an act requesting congress to not pass the Restoration of America’s Wire Act – strongly hints at the interest of state’s government. The restoration of America’s Wire act if passed, will hurt Pennsylvania’s chances of participating in the online gaming industry. It is important that you check the state rules and regulations of your state before venturing into online gaming.