Pennsylvania legislature returns with future of legazalized online casinos still unclear

  • Legislature of Pennsylvania returns to house with online casino legalization still in the balance
  • Discussions centre around ways in which gaps in state budget can be filled

The legislature of Pennsylvania returned to the house on Monday to attempt to try and find a resolution to long standing disagreements over the budget, with proposals to legalise online gambling still hanging in the balance.

Plans to legalise online casinos in Pennsylvania have long been discussed, however failure to agree on a definite budget in the state means these proposals cannot yet be put into effect.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is reportedly opposed to a new budget plan by house Republicans

Pennsylvania currently has a considerable gap in its budget and online casino and gambling revenue has been touted as one source which could potentially fill that gap in funding.

A new budget

However, a new budget plan suggested by house republicans in the state does not include an online gambling plan and instead looks to take money from special funds as a means of balancing the budget.

The newly dubbed ‘taxpayers budget’ is now being discussed by the state’s lawmakers and differs significantly from the senate’s plan, which included provisions to legalise online gambling.

Pressure is reportedly on the state’s lawmakers to agree a budget in order to keep Pennsylvania’s key services and institutions running to an appropriate standard.

Despite the so-called taxpayers budget gaining traction in the house, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf reportedly opposes the Republican plan stating that it would have consequences on a wide range of communities.

The administration has so far borrowed money to keep the balance even, however repayments on those loans will soon have to be paid back.

Does this mean no online casinos for Pennsylvania?

Whilst the Republican’s taxpayer budget will be discussed, there are no guarantees that this will be the final, agreed upon budget to fill the $2 billion in shortcomings.

Lawmakers largely support the legalisation of internet casinos, however there are mixed views on whether video gaming terminals should also be legalised. There are also disagreements over what these online gambling providers should be taxed should they legally be allowed to operate.

The budget in Pennsylvania could well be delayed for another year should no agreement be reached but despite the Republican’s plan not including gambling expansion, it still remains an option to help eliminate the state’s deficit.

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