Pennsylvania Legislature Continues Back-And-Forth With Online Gambling

Online gambling is caught in the middle of ulterior agendas in the Pennsylvania House and Senate. Despite its inclusion in the Senate budget proposal, the bill to legalize online gambling is likely to continue its back and forth in the legislature.

Pushing for VGTs

The Associated Press reports that House is still not in agreement with the measure to legalize online gambling. The issue is complicated beyond online gambling itself, which alone should have passed long ago. However, the House is determined to tack on video gaming terminals (VGTs).

Taxes and Gambling

The Senate struggled to make a budget proposal that would keep everyone happy. The $32 billion budget has to come from somewhere, and the Senate face a $2 billion deficit. Most of it will come from borrowed money and tax increases – something House Republicans vowed to reject.

The Senate plan calls for just $200 million of the $2 billion deficit to come from not-yet-legal online gambling. It is not much, but it relieves at least a portion of the deficit that would otherwise come from further energy tax increases. This gives online gambling a good chance of becoming legal in Pennsylvania before the end of the year.

Analysts say the House is likely to make changes to the online gambling bill before sending it back to the Senate for approval, but that this will not happen immediately. With more urgent issues related to the budget to focus on the House is expected to put online gambling discussions on hold until the fall session.

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