WAIT AND SEE ON PENNSYLVANIA IGAMING PROPOSAL

Overall tone of hearing positive.

The Pennsylvania House Gaming Oversight Committee heard from the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) as it resumed discussions regarding online gambling legalization today (Wednesday).

Executive director John Pappas urged the General Assembly to enact iGaming legalization this year, saying: ”There is no policy or political justification for delaying regulation of Internet gaming in Pennsylvania. Each and every day that the Commonwealth goes without regulation is another day that consumers are left unprotected and revenue is left on the table.

“Doing nothing is simply not an option; Pennsylvania consumers and taxpayers have waited long enough."

Pappas touched on the State’s inclusion of online gambling taxes to the tune of $100 million in the Pennsylvania State Budget 2017 despite the proposal still languishing before the State Senate.

“Given the severe budget issues currently facing the Commonwealth and the complete lack of appetite from the public for more tax increases, iGaming and its already approved $100 million revenue stream seem like a no-brainer,” Pappas told the Committee.

The clock is ticking for a Senate vote within the 2016 session on HB 2150. Only four session days remain 24-26 October and the final day, 16 November.

The Committee also heard from Daily Fantasy Sports representatives, across both small and large business entities. 

Steve Brubaker, executive director of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, stressed the need for cognizance of limitations that smaller businesses face in terms of licensing fees and regulatory requirements.

DraftKings and FanDuel representative, Scott Ward, said his clients fully support the language in HB2150, believing it to be “a smart balance between regulation and making sure that we don’t create barriers to entry."