The budget issues in Pennsylvania have led to an impasse, with 106 days and counting for the state to find a way to meet the deficit. Generating more tax revenue is a must and now, the state seems to be revisiting online gambling legislation in the hopes of finding a way to bring in more income to the state.
The current budget deficit is as much as $2 billion within the state and if online gambling were to be legalized, it could cut down on this amount. Reports state that a vote for gambling reform may be in the works that would include online gambling since lawmakers on the republican side are pushing for an alternative to raising taxes.
John Payne, a Representative of the state, is a big supporter of online gaming and has created a bill that is currently being considered. Other areas of gambling expansion are being considered to help with revenues in Pennsylvania such as skill-based gaming and airports adding slot machines.
In a study by the state, it was determined that if regulated, the online gambling industry could bring in as much as $129 million each year once maturation is reached. With house banked casino games online, the state could earn $178 million.
Gambling revenues have fallen over the year when compared to previous years, with a loss of $3 billion. This is the second year the state has seen a decline in revenues. Supporters of online gambling want to see the addition of the activity to bring in revenues. Opponents of the action do not want to invest in additional gaming since revenues are already decreased.
It will be interesting to see if the state can manage to consider legislation this year for online gambling. There is only a short time left to try and move forward this year. If legislation is passed, Pennsylvania would become only the 4th to offer online gaming in the US.