Home of Hershey’s chocolate, the signing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the first location of daily newspapers — Pennsylvania is a state steeped in history, accomplishment, and progressive enterprise. The state best known for its steel production has been trying its luck with the gambling industry for over a decade. As recently as 2017, Pennsylvania’s gambling laws and regulations have been transforming.
Along with all other Pennsylvania cities, the city of brotherly love has been reaping the benefits of progressive gambling laws. Philanet is your one-stop site for all the latest news on Philadelphia’s gambling rules and regulations. We cover everything from the best gambling venues, to government decisions. Whether you’re planning a visit to the great city of Philadelphia or are a life-long resident, Philanet is sure to teach you a thing or two on Philadelphia’s gambling culture!
Gambling is nothing terribly new for the city of Philadelphia. Horse races, the Pennsylvania Lottery, and bingo are just a few of the gambling options widely available. The lottery has been available since 1971, and it has gone onto to include variations such as: electronic jackpot games, Powerball, and Mega Millions. It has brought in $1 billion in profits and $4 billion in sales, and has become one of the nation’s leading lotteries. The lottery has even gone online and created its own app for smart phones.
Since the legalization of casinos a decade ago, Pennsylvania’s commercial casino revenues are second in the nation — only being outranked by gambling hotspot Nevada. Talks had been underway since the 1990s, but it wasn’t until 2004 that the legislation was drafted. In 2004, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was created to oversee all of the casinos within the state. There are 12 casino properties throughout Pennsylvania; all combined, the casinos operate 26,000 slot and machines and 1,200 table games. The Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs was technically the state’s first casino to open. Since its creation in 2006, Pennsylvania has undergone a casino boom.
Casino tax revenue reaches around $1.4 billion yearly, so it’s not surprising that the government of Pennsylvania wanted their gambling industry to continue growing. Pennsylvania’s gambling market has recently stepped into the 21st century thanks to the passing of new laws. In October of 2017, Pennsylvania’s governor, Tom Wolfe, signed legislation that would result in major growth within the gambling sector. The bill only took 18 hours to be passed by both chambers of the Legislature. The bill, H 271, will legalize both online casinos and poker. With the passage of this bill, Pennsylvania becomes the fourth state in the United States to legalize online gambling, now joining the ranks of Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware.
In addition to online gambling, the bill will permit games of chance to open up all around the state. Eight of Pennsylvania’s airports, including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Lehigh Valley, will be allowed to offer their very own gambling parlors. Truck stops all over the state will also be given the opportunity to operate up to 5 slot-machine style games, known as video gaming terminals. Ten of Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos will be allowed to place bids on a smaller casino that would offer hundreds of slow machines. These satellite casinos would have the option of housing both slot machines and table games. The bidding for these satellite casinos would begin at $7.5 million; a table games certificate would cost an additional $2.5 million.
The H 271 bill gives casino operators to purchase multiple types of licenses. They can purchase a license for slots, house-banked games, and online poker. An existing casino can buy all three licenses for a lump sum of $10 million as long as they purchase during the first 90 days that the licenses are available. After the 90 days, each license is available for purchase for $4 million each.
It is the hopes of the Pennsylvania governor and legislators that the implementation of this bill will greatly increase revenue from sales and taxes. With online gambling coming into the picture, Play Pennsylvania has estimated revenue to be around $364 million. Other lawmakers expect the raise in tax revenue and casino gambling fees will result in around $200 million more annually. Pennsylvania already rakes in quite a bit of cash from gambling, and the adage of online gambling only expands their chances for profit. Their tax revenue alone is the highest in the entirety of the United States. For a quick comparison, New Jersey has a tax on slot machines at 17.5%, but Pennsylvania’s tax is a whopping 54%. Online table games other than poker are not as high, with the tax only being 16%.
Not only do lawmakers hope to increase their yearly revenue, they also hope to inspire a younger generation of lottery players. In the past few years, the state lottery has seen a bit of a decline —as much as $75 million during the 2016-2017 fiscal year. With online gambling, the lottery would be able to launch iLottery. iLottery will allow users to access the lottery and games via their mobile devices. In addition to being available on mobile devices, the lottery will be able to create terminal based games in bars and taverns, which will allow them to reach a whole new audience. By bringing gambling into the 21st century, a younger client base can hopefully be established.
Pennsylvania’s progressive attitude towards gambling has resulted in staggering amount of profits. Their gambling revenue will continue to be one of the country’s best with their inclusion of online gambling. For the gambling enthusiasts residing in the Keystone State, this is news you’ve probably been waiting to hear for quite some time. However, online gambling is often times a long and tricky road of regulations and changes, but rest assured that Philanet will have all the latest news on the progress of Pennsylvania’s gambling laws. If you have any thoughts aboutthe hilanet site you can get on contact with our team here.