10/30/2017: Expansion Begins

Written By Jessica Welman on April 29, 2019 - Last Updated on August 9, 2022
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf

After a long legislative road, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed the massive gambling expansion bill into law on Oct. 30, 2017. The bill greenlit an avalanche of new gaming, including online lottery, casino, and poker, Keno, VGTs, and mini-casinos. It also set up the potential for PA sports betting should the federal law change.

With so many different verticals, the potential for what the industry could bring in was high. However, there were elements of the law that had people concerned about revenue and other issues from the jump.

The tax rates, which came in at 54% for online slots, 34% for sports betting, and 16% for table games were some of the highest in the nation. Many thought they were prohibitively high and could stunt the industry before it started. Ditto the large licensing fees.

The credit agency Moodys even went on record with a credit downgrade on the state post gambling expansion.

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Jessica Welman

Jessica Welman has been a key voice in the legal betting industry since the repeal of PASPA in 2018. She contributed to and formerly managed several Catena Play-branded sites including PlayPennsylvania, PlayTenn and PlayIndiana. A longtime poker media presence, Jess has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for WSOP.com.

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