In an effort to provide much-needed consumer protections while generating additional revenue for the Commonwealth, House Gaming Oversight Committee Majority Chair John Payne (R-Dauphin) Wednesday introduced legislation to regulate online gaming in Pennsylvania.
“Right now millions of Americans, including Pennsylvanians, participate in illegal online gaming where no regulation currently exists,” said Rep. Payne. “By enacting effective state policy, we can help curb the illegal market while ensuring strong safeguards are in place to protect consumers.”
A recent study released by a Philadelphia-based economic consulting firm named Internet gaming the largest potential new revenue source for Pennsylvania’s gaming industry. If enacted, the study estimates online gaming would generate approximately $120 million in the state for the first year. Some gaming officials have estimated it could bring an excess of $300 million in ongoing revenue.
“We are currently facing a projected $2 billion budget shortfall,” said Rep. Payne. “I think it’s important we consider all responsible options to boost revenue before we consider asking our taxpayers for more money to fill that deficit.”
Regulating online gaming will also give Pennsylvania the opportunity to become a top competitor among its neighboring states in the gaming industry, Rep. Payne added.
“The implementation of legalized online gaming in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware demonstrates the technologies exist to regulate Internet gaming safely and effectively,” he said. “This legislation is the first step toward ensuring future growth as the industry expands.”Rep. Payne’s bill includes strong consumer protections such as placing limits on deposits and losses and implementing safeguards to prevent minors from playing. It also includes measures to help problem gamblers.