New Online Gambling Legalisation Bill Filed In Pennsylvania Senate


09th March, 2017 at 08:36:08

SB477 appears to be a companion bill for Rep. George Dunbar's HB392, and mirrors last year's unsuccessful HB2150.

A group of Pennsylvania Republican Party senators, Sens. Thomas Killion, Guy Reschenthaler, Camera Bartolotta and Patrick Stefano has filed a companion online gambling legalisation measure to HB392, an extensive intrastate gaming reform bill introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives a month ago and currently with the House Gaming Oversight Committee (see previous reports).

The new bill, SB 477, is strikingly similar to Representative George Dunbar's House Bill 392, and has been lodged with the Senate Community, Economic And Recreational Development Committee as a companion to the latter.

Dunbar's bill is in turn very similar to HB2150, which passed the House last year but stalled in the Senate.

Along with legalising online gambling and daily fantasy sports, the new bill mirrors HB392 with provisions for other, mainly land-based gaming expansion and proposes the following tax and fee rates for online gambling:

* 14% tax on GGR for state coffers, plus a further 2% of GGR for local community projects;

* A single initial $8 million licence fee for online gambling operations, or for vendors a $2 million one-off licence fee i.r.o. each operator serviced;

* Annual renewal fees of $250,000 for interactive gaming licensees and $100,000 for interactive gaming vendors.

The new bill follows the filing of a co-sponsorship memorandum (an initial step before filing a bill) in the Pennsylvanian Senate in January this year by Democratic Party Sen. Jay Costa, which proposed a new bill modelled on last year's HB2150.

Costa said his bill would include a $10 million licensing fee and a 25% tax on GGR for online gambling licensees, and vendors would be expected to pay a $5 million one-off fee (see previous report).

Under Costa's plan DFS would also be legalised, and subject to a $2.5 million licence fee and a tax rate based on GGR of 25 percent.

However, nothing further has been heard on Costa's proposal since mid-February, suggesting that his measure is still being drafted.

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