UNLIKELY THIS YEAR (Update)
Senate Presidents staff say no plans for progressing H.8776.
In another indication that online gambling legalization is bogged down in the Pennsylvanian state Senate and unlikely to pass this year, Casey Long, a senior staffer in the office of Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, has advised local media that there are no plans to act this month on H.8776, a tax-associated bill approved by the House which contains additions legalizing online gambling and daily fantasy sports, along with land gambling expansions originally carried in HR2150, which also languishes in the Senate.
The Senate"s last session for this year is on November 15 after regularly scheduled sessions ended in October, but the House and Senate are scheduled to reconvene the week after the election.
Any bills not passed by November 30 will have to be reintroduced when the next legislative session starts in January 2017, and the gambling bill falls into this category, the staffer said, confirming previous political spokesmen opinions that the Senate has no consensus on the i-gaming and DFS proposals that the House has now approved twice.
The proposed House bill would impose a 14 percent state tax on online GGR plus a 2 percent local-share assessment. The state tax rate for daily fantasy sports would be 12 percent of revenue.
Under the bill, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board would oversee and enforce regulations for online casinos and DFS operators, with provisions that include:
• Requiring iGaming operators to take all reasonable measures to prevent collusion and cheating devices, including third party software;
• Requiring DFS operators to disclose the maximum number of entries an individual may have in DFS contests;
• Forbidding DFS operators, employees and family members from competing in that operators contests;
• Maintaining separate accounts for players money and operational funds;
• Prohibiting the use of scripts for betting in DFS contests;
• Forbidding the offering of DFS contests based on collegiate or high-school performances.;
• Allowing slot machines in which a players skill, rather than pure chance, factors in the payout;
• Allowing progressive slot-machine jackpots.