Pennsylvania set to consider legalized video gaming terminals

  • Pennsylvania has long been touted as the next US state to possibly legalize online casinos
  • State could also look to the legalization of video gaming terminals in pubs, truck stops and other sites

Pennsylvania state legislators are reportedly set to push for online wagering to be legalised when the Senate resumes in September. The state of Pennsylvania has long been expected to become the fourth state to legalise online gambling in the USA but have yet failed to do so.

A bill which is set to reform gambling in the state, including the legalisation of online gambling and daily fantasy sports, has been passed between the two houses for many months now.

Pennsylvania video gaming terminals
Pennsylvania Senator Chuck McIlhinney has called for illegal video gaming terminals to be addressed before more are added in the state

However, with the state legislators looking for alternate sources of revenue to finally close its budget, online casino betting is one area that could potentially be legalised in the very near future.

Video gaming terminals

As well as online betting, it has been reported that video gaming terminals could also be legalised by state legislators. The Senate Law and Justice Committee is scheduled to meet on September 19, during which the legalisation of terminals will be discussed.

The House has proposed the introduction of new terminals in pubs, truck stops and several other facilities across the state which could create up to $400 million of new revenue for Pennsylvania.

However, the House is currently split on whether to introduce the new terminals, with concerns over addiction and crime leading to opposition of the legalisation in the Senate.

There have also been concerns over illegal gaming terminals being used in the state, with Pennsylvania Senator Chuck McIlhinney, who chairs the committee reported as recently stating: “I guess we should thank the House for bringing this issue to light, though I find it disturbing that members of this legislature may have known about possible illegal gaming machines and done nothing about it.

“I think it is important that we show the people of Pennsylvania we can address the problem of illegal VGTs before we talk about adding 55,000 new machines into venues across the state. These hearings are an important first step in that process.” 

The final bill

It’s very likely that the legalisation of video gaming terminals could be withdrawn from the final bill, given that the process of eliminating illegal terminals will take time.

Casinos in Pennsylvania are also unlikely to support the legalisation of terminals because it could attract attention away from their own casino floors.

Gambling expansion in Pennsylvania is almost certainly likely to occur within the next year however, and punters in the state could soon be able to play their favourite games online.

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