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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 2, 2021 04:27 PM
From: Representative Ed Neilson
To: All House members
Subject: Legalizing Esports Betting
The citizens of Pennsylvania are 54 percent stakeholders in the Pennsylvania gaming industry due to our stringent regulations and citizen focused tax rates. During the COVID-19 pandemic, online gaming has significantly increased and Pennsylvania needs to be certain that our gaming industry is properly positioned so as not to lose its share of the market to surrounding states.

Last year, the esports industry was valued at $1.1 billion worldwide. In the coming years, it is estimated that the esports industry has the potential to generate nearly $1.8 billion in economic activity. Philadelphia is currently building a multi-million dollar facility strictly dedicated to esports gaming that will attract worldwide events, the first of its kind in the United States. Esports has provided a desired distraction for many individuals during the pandemic by allowing players and viewers to stream and watch games online. With esports, sports fans have a way to still experience the thrill and action of sports, while maintaining proper social distancing requirements. 

To capitalize on this up and coming industry, New Jersey recently introduced legislation to legalize gambling on esport sporting events, such as video game tournaments. Similar legislation is being considered in other states. I believe Pennsylvania should quickly add esports to our gaming portfolio, bolstering our economy and the attendant tax revenue. Therefore, I am introducing legislation to legalize betting on esports in Pennsylvania.

Please join me in co-sponsoring legislation to allow Pennsylvania to expand our gaming options to further provide for our citizens.

Introduced as HB1580