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Pennsylvania Propose 54% Tax Rate on Gross Gaming Revenue

By: Marica K, June 11, 2015
Pennsylvania introduce fifth online gambling bill.

Pennsylvania Senate propose 54% tax on all gaming revenue under new gaming bill.

The state of Pennsylvania has seen a fifth online gambling bill introduced on Tuesday, with the main feature of the new legislation the huge 54% tax on gross gaming revenue.

Senator Kim Ward was the one who filed SB 900, with the likes of Joseph Scarnati, Robert Tomlinson and Elder Vogel supporting the bill. The Keystone State has had to deal with four online gambling bills so far, but this was the first that was proposed by the Senate.

New Bill Would Allow Live Casinos

SB 900 has been predominantly designed to improve the state’s revenues from the gaming industry, and it is important to note that the new legal framework supports both online poker and online casino games, including live dealer games.

However, just like the previous online bills, the new legislation only allows operators with existing casino licenses to offer online gaming to their customers.

But, while this may sound like a good news for all those gaming companies looking to expand their offering with remote gambling, high fees for obtaining a license and exorbitant tax rate are likely to prevent quite a few operators from getting involved in the online gaming industry.

$10m Fixed Fee for Five-Year License

Namely, online applicants would be subject to $10 million fee that would be paid upfront, whereas their licenses valid for five years. The renewal fee is set at $1 million, but it is not clear whether this would apply to a new five-year period.

SB 900 would introduce a 54% tax on all gross gaming revenue, which is something that is not going to go down well with the gaming operators in the state, and the proposed rate will probably have to be reduced if the bill is to be voted into a law.

The state currently has a 55% tax on all land-based slots revenue, but it is important to note that table games revenue is taxed at 16% and previous bills proposed in Pennsylvania proposed 14% tax on gross gaming revenue for online operators.

Pennsylvania legislature could be set for a busy period as they will be forced to review no fewer than five online gambling bills, where only one of those calls for a ban on all online gambling.

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