Penn. gambling expansion bill has made its way through the state's House

Jun 9, 2017 9:31 AM

The Pennsylvania gambling expansion bill has made its way through the state’s House of Representative as the legislators move to shore up the state’s budget deficit.

The bill would allow slot machines in airports and taverns, authorize online casinos and daily fantasy sports (DFS). It also permits the state lottery to sell instant tickets online, and create sports betting regulations in anticipation of any change to the existing federal prohibition.

The bill passed 102-89, with support mixed across party lines.

The bill finally addresses the legal dispute over the state’s casino local share assessment. That rule required each venue to pay its host municipality $10 million annually

Under the new bill, the state’s largest casinos, Sands Bethlehem and Parx, would be required to pay two percent of gross slot revenue to the host county, and a flat $10 million to the host municipality. Resorts with lower revenue pulls would pay just the two percent tariff. 

Local observers say it’s unknown if State Senate will support the gambling expansion bill, or if Governor Tom Wolf (D) would even sign it, should it reach his desk.

Pennsylvania has been looking for new funds to pay down its down its massive pension debt.