Online gambling proponents have some reason to cheer, as a gaming reform bill (HB 271) passed through the PA Senate. But we’re not out of the woods yet.
The good news is that there’s been movement on a gaming reform bill in the PA senate, and it includes online gambling. The bad: just about everything else.
Tremendous gains in table games revenue more than offset the continued decline of Pennsylvania’s slot revenue, prompting casinos to slowly shift focus.
If Pennsylvania lawmakers approve an oppressive 54 percent tax rate on online slots, it’s hard to envision a scenario where anyone wins.
If Pennsylvania Goes Forth With An Oppressive Tax Rate On Online Slots, Poker Players Will Suffer Too
Just because a proposed 54 percent tax would only apply to legal PA online slots doesn’t mean that Pennsylvania online poker players wouldn’t be impacted.
It’s shortsighted to think that just because a land-based casino in Pennsylvania has a certain tax rate, that an online gambling property must follow suit.
Thanks to the explosive growth of legal NJ online gambling, it’s becoming more and more difficult for PA legislators to justify passing on its own rollout.
PA slot revenue declined at a slower rate in March, but unless the industry does something to turn the tide, it may experience its sharpest drop-offs yet.
Will VGTs help the state of Pennsylvania generate more tax revenue? Probably. Will land-based casinos be better off for it? Not so much.
Imposing a 25 percent tax rate on legal PA online gambling revenue may seem like a good idea on paper, but it could result in the downfall of the industry.