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Pennsylvania House Approves Online Gambling, Daily Fantasy Sports Legislation!

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Staff member
Jan 17, 2008
Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives has approved online gambling and daily fantasy sports legislation, setting up a nail-biter in the state Senate.

On Tuesday, Pennsylvania’s House voted 114-85 in favor of the HB 2150 legislation they initially rejected last week when it contained a controversial video gaming terminals (VGT) component, then gave initial approval to the same legislation with the VGT component stripped out.

The amended HB 2150 approved by the House on Tuesday would allow Pennsylvania’s dozen brick-and-mortar casino operators to partner with approved online gambling technology providers to offer online casino and poker games to state residents.

Casinos looking to go online will pay an $8m upfront fee for a five-year license, with renewals costing $250k. The online technology partners of these casinos will have to pay $2m upfront, with renewal fees of $100k in five years’ time.

Online operators will be taxed at 16% of online revenue, with 14% going to the state and 2% earmarked for economic development projects.

The bill also authorizes slots and mobile gambling at six state airports, for which would-be slots operators will pay a one-time fee of $1m and $100k for license renewals for the smaller airports. Operators looking to stake out a position at the Philadelphia airport will be charged $5m, while Pittsburgh’s airport can be yours for a mere $2.5 million.

In what will be a major disappointment for online licensees, mobile gambling will only be accessible at the airports. Airport mobile gambling rights will cost $1m per airport and mobile revenue will face a 34% tax plus a further 20% that will go to pay for things like extra security and extra-loud beepers for those golf carts.

To date, only Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware have approved online gambling legislation, and Nevada has so far approved only online poker. Pennsylvania’s legislation allows for “wagers placed with out-of-state interactive gaming operators authorized under a reciprocal agreement.