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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 29, 2015 09:01 AM
From: Representative Tina M. Davis
To: All House members
Subject: Co-Sponsorship – Internet Gaming
In the near future, I intend to re-introduce legislation amending Pennsylvania's Gaming Act to establish guidelines and regulations for internet gaming in Pennsylvania.

As many of you may already know, the Federal Government issued an opinion in January of 2012 that has opened the door for the legalization of online gaming nationwide. In the wake of this decision, several states and the Federal Government have introduced proposals that would provide for online poker and other games that are currently regulated by Pennsylvania law. In fact, two bordering states have taken action on this issue: both Delaware and New Jersey have enacted laws authorizing online poker. With the Commonwealth becoming the second largest gambling market in the country, these states have seen their gaming industries take a hit from Pennsylvania's casinos.

Under my proposal, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board would regulate requirements for the licensing, operation of, and responsible participation in internet gaming to ensure that this form of gaming is within the regulatory framework we have fought to establish here in the Commonwealth. Furthermore, my legislation would set the authorization fee at $5 million and would establish a reasonable tax rate that takes into account overhead and cost of operation for the casinos. The proceeds from internet gaming would be split between the Property Tax Relief Fund and the State Lottery Fund.

Considering efforts across the country to legalize internet gaming, it is imperative that we maintain the integrity of our gaming industry amid inevitable federal preemption and competing states. A responsible internet gaming system must be created in order to protect Pennsylvanians and the success of the established gaming industry in the Commonwealth, which has generated more than $7 billion in state tax revenue, and created more than 16,000 jobs statewide.

Please join me in supporting this important legislation.

Introduced as HB920