A bill aiming at legalizing online casinos and poker in Pennsylvania entered the state’s budget talks. The state’s officials suggested that the expansion of the gambling industry is to fill the gaping hole in the state’s $32-billion budget plan and put an end to the financial impasse. In the recent years, many states fully regulated their casino markets in order to bring in additional wealth into the local economy. Pennsylvania is not an exception to the pack. On Wednesday, the full Senate supported the bill that would revolutionize the casino industry within the state. The future of the 470-page legislative piece is in the hands of the House.
In July, the local government approved a budget plan but it did not figure out how to pay for it. To balance the budget deficit and close the gap of $2.2-billion, officials came up with a plan to expand the gambling industry across the state. The discussion process was a hard and clumsy one, as the officials could not agree on certain issues of the bill. Almost 4 months later, it seems that the bill moved inches closer to its passage. On Wednesday evening, the full Senate voted in favor of the bill and the House approved the amendments made by the Senate. But a number of House representatives asked to postpone the voting for the next day and that is what happened.
Online Gambling – A Remedy to Pennsylvania’s Depleted Economy
The regulation of online gambling and video gambling terminals (VGTs) across the state was the main reason why the officials failed to pass the bill so far. Consequently, the bill was amended a number of times until it finally managed to win the hearts of the Senate. The expected revenue from the industry’s expansion amounts to $200 million per year.
The online gambling is the fastest-growing and most proliferating sector within the industry. That is not a surprise having in mind the constant advent of the new technologies. More and more people started to prefer to play in online casinos rather than in the good old land-based gambling facilities. Pennsylvania’s online gaming market has a huge potential to become one of the most profitable ones in the U.S. Hence, it might be even said that the regulation of the online gambling sector is of vital importance to the state’s economy.
The gambling community in Pennsylvania keeps its fingers crossed, hoping that online gambling will soon come out of the grey area. By regulating the online gambling market, the state will not only climb out of the financial hole, but it is also to protect the players’ best interests.