Bleak Future for Online Gambling in Pennsylvania
The online gambling bill introduced by Rep. Tina Davis (D-Bucks) last April, under House Bill 1235, appears to have a bleak future. Pennsylvania State Representative Tina Pickett (R), who heads the Gaming Oversight Committee in the Pennsylvania House, has publicly announced her intention to adopt a “wait-and-see” attitude over the legalization of online gambling in the Keystone State.
In fact, Rep. Pickett told reporters that supporters of H.B. 1235 might have to wait until 2015 before the bill sees any action in the House of Representatives through her committee. In spite of the widespread success of the gambling industry in the state, Rep. Tina Pickett is not comfortable with the idea of making gambling available in every Pennsylvania household.
Regarding concerns over possible negative effects of legalized online gambling in Delaware and New Jersey on Pennsylvania’s land-based gambling industry, her comments denote that she intends to cross the bridge when she gets there. If it does appear that online casino gambling in Atlantic City adversely affects the revenues of Pennsylvania casinos, then she would be willing to consider matters regarding Internet-based casino operations in the state she represents.
Still, even if State Representative Pickett allows H.B. 1235 to move forward in the House of Representative, Rep. Tina Davis and her bill does not have the support of the key players in the state’s gambling industry. Many believe that Rep. Davis’ projected tax rate of more than 20 percent will pose as a “stumbling block” to the growth of online gaming in the State of Pennsylvania, as it far exceeds those imposed by the States of Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.