Sunday March 31, 2013 : SUSPENSE CONTINUES OVER PENNSYLVANIAN GAMBLING BILL (Update)
Rep. Davis fires up her bill, only to almost immediately withdraw it for further work
The legalization of online gambling in the state of Pennsylvania continued to hold the attention of industry observers this week as author Rep. Tina Davis briefly launched her measure in the House, only to withdraw it almost immediately for further work and discussion with various interested parties.
Meanwhile Davis appeared on Pennsylvania Cable Network at PCN.com in an interview with Francine Schertzer on her political program "On The Issues", saying that she expected her bill to be re-introduced within the next two weeks, and advising:
* Licensing for existing Pennsylvanian land operators who would have exclusivity in operating intrastate online gambling would come with a hefty $40 million plus fee and a gross gaming revenue tax rate of 45 percent. Davis acknowledged that these rates were on the high side and implied that they may be reduced after debate and discussion.
* She was aware that fellow Pennsylvanian Rep. Paul Clymer has threatened to introduce a bill seeking to ban online gambling in the state, and said the two had talked, but had decided to agree to disagree on the issue.
* The Davis bill does not contain any provision for interstate compacts because Davis believes that at 12 million residents Pennsylvania has a sufficiently large population to sustain online gambling without the need to enter into liquidity agreements with other states. She also wishes to protect existing state land gambling operators.
* Davis said an unnamed state Senator was also considering a bill that would complement her own.
* Talks with the state gaming regulator on the Davis measure have yet to take place.
* Davis reiterated her opinion that it was important for Pennsylvania to get involved in the internet gambling trend, which was clearly gathering momentum among US states