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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 1, 2017 09:48 AM
From: Representative George Dunbar and Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood
To: All House members
Subject: IGaming and Omnibus Gaming Changes
In the near future, we will be jointly introducing omnibus gaming legislation that will protect consumers, maintain and improve the competitiveness of Pennsylvania’s casino industry and generate needed revenues for the Commonwealth.

As you may recall, the House Gaming Oversight Committee held extensive hearings last session regarding every aspect of Pennsylvania’s gaming industry. These hearings addressed numerous topics such as gaming expansion options, regulatory reform and innovative gaming technologies. From these hearings, House Republicans and Democrats worked in a bipartisan fashion to create legislation that will ensure the integrity and sustainability of our regulated gaming industry and increase needed revenues, while focusing on consumer protections to rein in black market, off-shore gaming operators that prey on problem and compulsive gamblers, and could care less about protecting against underage gambling.

Ultimately, this bipartisan legislation failed to reach the Governor for his signature, and we will be re-introducing legislation similar to what the House passed in October of 2016 (HB 1887).

The bill will specifically provide for the following:
  • Fix the local share assessment issue by requiring all casinos, except Category 3 casinos, to pay a $10 million fee to host municipalities;
  • Regulate and tax iGaming;
  • Impose consumer protections on and tax online fantasy sports operators;
  • Allow gaming tablets in international airports;
  • Remove the Category 3 casino amenity requirement;
  • Streamline non-gaming vendor registration requirements;
  • Permit gaming manufactures to utilize private laboratories to test gaming devices;
  • Authorize the PGCB to create new regulations to allow for new types of slot machines;
  • Increase license, permit and registration renewal periods;
  • Allow multi-state linkage of slot machines to increase jackpots; and,
  • Require uniform advertisement of the problem gaming assistance number.
Pennsylvania casinos are an integral part of the Commonwealth’s economy; to date, the industry has sustained 18,000 living-wage jobs and generated $11 billion in tax revenue that has benefited local communities, homeowners, the agricultural community and our General Fund. As impressive as these numbers may be, the General Assembly cannot afford to rest on its laurels and hope these numbers continue into the future. The Pennsylvania General Assembly must pass legislation to allow our gaming industry to adapt to the challenges of increased competition from other states. Additionally, the PGCB needs to be provided with the regulatory authority to safely and responsibly allow innovative gaming technologies to be offered to consumers in Pennsylvania.

For these reasons, I hope you will join us in cosponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB392