The Senate has been under pressure to pass the gambling expansion bill, which will regulate and legalize online gambling before this Wednesday when this year’s legislative session will come to an end.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved House Bill 2150, before their summer vacation. This was following an amendment to the said bill, which was formerly rejected. Now the expansion bill is waiting to either be accepted or rejected by the Senate.
The September court, however, ruled that “The Local Share Tax” is unconstitutional. This tax governs agreements in revenue sharing between operators and their local communities. In fact, the state’s 2004 bill, states that every casino except the ones in Valley Forge, Philadelphia and Nemacolin must pay 10 million dollars a year to the municipalities that host them or 2% of their slots revenue. Unfortunately, casinos that make less income may have to pay a larger tax bill than the competitor giants in the industry.
This means that approximately $140 million will be lost from the revenue for the year, that casinos give to the local communities. This is an issue which has to be fixed in the next 120 days by the legislature. An attractive solution to this problem may be the projected revenue from the bill’s expansion. Unfortunately, if the bill is not passed until this Wednesday, the legislation may put it off for the next year.