Legislation proposed by a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania state legislature would allow internet gaming in the Keystone State, with some of the proceeds directed to racing purses.
Rep. Tina Davis (D-Bucks County) earlier this week introduced House Bill 1235, which would create the regulatory structure to enable internet gaming in the state. That gaming would be conducted entirely in Pennsylvania — with both the bet-taking apparatus and the players required to be resident in the state — because a recent Department of Justice opinion opens the door to intrastate online wagering.
Under the proposal, which has 11 cosponsors, slot machine licensees would be allowed to apply for “internet gaming certificates,” which would allow them to conduct online gaming. The bill sets the one-time application fee for such a certificate at $5 million, with a $500,000 annual renewal fee.
In addition, the bill sets the tax rate on internet gaming proceeds at 28 percent, payable on a weekly basis. The lion’s share of the tax revenues will go to programs benefiting the elderly. But 15 percent of the collected revenues are directed to the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Fund, to be distributed in accordance with that Fund’s previously set guidelines. Those guidelines direct 80 percent of fund moneys to purses, 16 percent to the state’s bred fund, and four percent to fund health and pension benefits for members of the horsemen’s associations.
“A responsible internet gaming system must be created in order to protect Pennsylvanians and the success of the established gaming industry in the Commonwealth, which has generated more than $7 billion in state tax revenue, and created more than 16,000 jobs statewide,” Rep. Davis said in a statement.
Her legislation has been referred to the House Committee on Gaming Oversight.