Pennsylvania iGaming Bill Passes House VoteJune 29, 2016 11:02 am
On Tuesday, Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives voted on whether to allow online gambling and daily fantasy sports betting in their state, with those in favor eventually approving HB 2150 by a margin of 114-85. The piece of legislation now heads to the state Senate, and if it receives similar support there then it would finally require a signature from Gov. Tom Wolf before passing into law.
Contained within HB 2150 are provisions which would allow the state’s land-based casinos to form partnerships with online operators in order to offer online casino and poker games to Pennsylvania residents. In return, the casinos would be required to pay an $8 million five-year license fee, which would subsequently be renewed at a cost of $250,000, while their online partners would have to fork out a further $2 million, plus a $100k renewal fees five years later.
HB 2150 also paves the way for six state airports to offer online slots and mobile gambling, with fees ranging from $100k for the smaller airports, up to $5 million for any operator looking to stake a position at Philadelphia International Airport.
On the same day that the bill passed, the House also approved a $31.6 billion budget, with the gaming expansion proposal predicted to contribute $266.5 million in revenues from license fees and tax revenues.
Following the news, John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), voiced his support for the latest positive developments, stating: “It is about time — this legislation is long overdue! Pennsylvanians deserve robust consumer protections and today the Pennsylvania House delivered. Additionally, this legislation will create jobs and help the Commonwealth close its budget gap. This commonsense legislation is a win-win for Pennsylvania. The online poker community urges the Senate and Governor Wolf to act swiftly to approve this measure.”