The state of Pennsylvania is likely to witness the expansion of gambling in the New Year 2017. According to the media reports, two known state senators including Sen. Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills and Sen. Kim Ward, R-Hempfield of the western state are pushing for the expansion and are aimed at resolving the legal problems related to casino & gambling.
About the New Bill
The two senators are all set to declare their parties’ version of bill. The bill will include various issues regarding the regulation of Daily Fantasy Sports betting, permission of gambling at non-casino sites like airports and eradicating the amenity fee of $10 for the people playing at two resorts casinos of the state including Lady Luck Nemacolin. The bill will also highlight the issue of making Pennsylvania the biggest state to permit online gambling. It is known that only three states allow internet gambling at present including Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey.
In addition to this, the senators are expected to emphasize on local share assessment. They are going to bring forth the issue of one legal method for the casinos to pay to the communities. At present, the casinos have to pay a flat $10 million or 2 percent gross of the entire slot machine revenue. This is completely unconstitutional because it does not treat all the casinos equally.
In the Words of Various Representatives
To start with, Scavello, chairman of the Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee mentioned in a statement that the bill is expected to be passed in the House of Senate somewhere in March. He made it clear that the bill has enough support and votes to be passed and the senate is likely look at other expansions too. On the other hand, Casey Long, director of policy and legislative affairs stated that Republicans are all set to move a gambling bill that will be introduced by Ward in the coming days.
Ward further mentioned that she will seek support from Scavello and other senators in drafting the new bill. Scavello is going to have a meeting with other Senate members. When it comes to the hold of Republicans, they possess 34-16 majority in the Senate. It is known that the house did pass the comprehensive gambling bills twice. The bills included Daily Fantasy Sports and online gaming. However, the Senate failed to work on it and could not pass it.
The Positive Take of Ward
Ward has been showing great interest in passing the bill. She was the chairperson of the Recreational Development committee last session. She then focused on navigating the tax revenues from the gaming expansion. She also said that at the time of legalization of casino gambling, a number of counties had decided to share the fee but it did not happen in real. She further highlighted Westmoreland that has is actually losing out due to the three counties that surround it and make huge money from casino gambling. Ward wishes for economic development and wants the state to prosper. She is in favor of allowing gambling at airports but she said that it should not be limited to only specific areas.
On the other hand, Costa made it clear that the bill will permit all types of slot games, table games and even Daily Fantasy Sports. He said that it is a natural progression of casino gambling in Pennsylvania and the state is now looking forward to regulate the Daily Fantasy Sports. In future, it is expected that the recent bill will be approved and players will be able to enjoy DFS without any legal concerns.