Abby served as an associate editor for the Casino City editorial team for three years, between 2015 and 2018.More articles by Abby Messick
Pennsylvania online gambling bill passes House vote
27 October 2016
By Abby Messick
After some previous starts and stops, HB 1887 passed by a vote of 110-71 in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives today, which marks a step forward for online gambling and daily fantasy sports regulation in the state.
Originally, HB 1887 aimed to reform responsible gaming administration and enforcement policies. On 26 October, local share tax language was added to the bill to tackle the issue of the tax that was ruled unconstitutional by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on 28 September 2016.
The bill, which would regulate daily fantasy sports betting, now moves to the Senate, which had already adjourned for an Election Day break. It's unclear if the Senate will approve the House bill when the senators return 16 November 2016.
Language from HB 2150 was tacked onto the bill, including provisions for online gambling, daily fantasy sports, tablets that would allow online gambling in the Philadelphia Airport, and further changes to the local share tax. Language that would have seen the local share tax fix expire on 1 May 2017 was also removed.
Support for the bill was clear: Rep. Bill Adolph stressed the necessity of passing the bill due to the number of city budgets that count on revenue from local casinos as a result of the local share tax.
"The policemen, the firemen, public works - all these budgets, if we do not pass a local fix, will be in deep trouble," he said. $100 million of additional revenue from iGaming for the state was proposed in this legislation, a sum that would go a long way to easing the uncertainties many counties are facing.
Additionally, Rep. George Dunbar clarified that the bill will give an official legal standing to daily fantasy sports in Pennsylvania.
The few objections made were concerned with the distribution of the tax and not with iGaming itself.
The Poker Players Alliance is now urging those who live in Pennsylvania to call their Senator and show support for the passage of iGaming.