On Monday Tina Davis, the Pennsylvania State Representative, introduced the House Bill 1235, which is to amend, the Title 4, of Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, for the legalization and regulation of internet gaming. The House Bill 1235, has already got several co-sponsors, these include Representatives Rosita Youngblood, Thomas Caltagorone, Dom Costa, Vanessa Brown, Mark Cohen, William Kortz, RoseMarie Swagger, Ed Neilson, John Gallloway, George Dunbar and John Sabatina.
In January Ms Davis, had already said, that she would be introducing the bill when she issued a memorandum. She said in the memo that Delaware has already introduced internet gambling laws, and New Jersay at that time was working on similar laws in order to compete with the Pennsylvania’s gaming industry. It was a combination of this and possible federal legislation, that Ms Davis felt it was important for the Pennsylvania state, to also get going on internet gaming to keep the industry strong.
Ms Davies said that with the nationwide efforts at legalizing internet gaming, it was imperative that they maintain the integrity of their gaming industry, with the inevitable federal preemption, and the competing states, also possible expansion of internet gaming through privatization of their state lottery. She felt that a responsible internet gaming system needed to be created to protect Pennsylvanians as well as the success of the commonwealth, that has generated over $7 billion in taxes for the state in revenues, and also created over 16,000 jobs in the state.
If the bill is passed, it will make any licensee of slots machines eligible, to be able to get a license or “Internet Gaming Certificate,”.
This will open up the market for the bricks and mortar casinos. Players on internet gaming sites need to be at least 21 years old to be eligible to play, and they must live in Pennsylvania. One of the requirement is a player must register an account at the casino.
There are a number of different deposit methods, which include, credit cards, check, money order, cash, or electronic fund transfers, and withdrawals will be made using check or electronic fund transfers. it is not allowed for player to player transfers to be done.
The license fee will be a once off $5 million and this will be followed with a $500,000 renewal fee every three years. The licensees will have to pay tax of 28% of their gross revenue, the allocation of this will be 55% will go to the state lottery fund which will be used for tax relief of the elderly, 30% also to the State Lottery to subsidize transport services for the elderly, and 15% for the Race Horse Development in Pennsylvania.
Although online poker would only be allowed intrastate for residents in Pennsylvania, once the HB1235 is passed, it will allow interstate, and possible international compacts, as long as any gambling does not violate state or federal laws.