Published on August 11th, 2017 | by admin0
PA Online Gambling Is Here To Stay – Here’s Why
In the world of technology, almost everything comes with a rather unpredictable expiry date. Not too many years ago, people were heavily reliant on floppy drives for storage needs, but now they are practically like an extinct species in the realm of technology. Same goes with gaming. The world always waits for the next big thing that marks the expiry of the previous big thing. But recently something happened that will make you say that online gaming, and consequently online gambling, is here to stay.
What exactly happened, you ask? Well, in the state budget of Pennsylvania, there existed a gap of $2 billion, and the Senate Republicans had been frantically looking for a way to bridge that gap. Thus, after a long process of pondering and planning over it, they have come up with a plan that they believe will solve this problem. This revenue gap is now supposed to be generated through online gaming, as this plan includes a gaming expansion which hasn’t been passed yet. Thus, if they wish to bridge this gap in the ongoing fiscal year, then including iGaming in the package is a must. Sounds cool for the online casino proponents, isn’t it?
Hold on a bit before jumping up for celebration, because when we tell you more about this all new plan and take you deeper into the features of it, you may realize that now is definitely not the time to celebrate. A lot of things are yet to happen for that.
According to the Republicans, to fill this gap in the state budget, they are basically considering new taxes, counting on the multistate settlement with tobacco companies by borrowing against it, and yes, the matter of our concern, which happens to be online gaming. The Senate voting will follow soon, to finalize this package. And if you come to think of it, this inclusion and consequent expansion of online gaming and hence online gambling is something that almost everyone knew is going to happen, isn’t it?
Now, why are we so serious about it? It still is a pretty cool thing that the government now supports fully what we love to engage in, right? Well, no – the support is yet to come. This proposal is still in the pipeline. The gaming package has been stuck for a really long time in the Senate now, so the future of its inclusion is still uncertain. There are plenty of differences too between the house and the Senate in this regard, as far as we are talking about the inclusion of online gambling in this package. And that is why; it is not too hard to see that you cannot really count on the House to agree on this particular idea. It is uncertain whether the House will support this package overall, let alone just the gaming aspect of it. And if the entire package is not approved, then once again, the gaming expansion will go down the drain. See, we told you not to celebrate just yet, isn’t it?
You might be wondering, hasn’t all this happened in the last year itself? Didn’t the PA do the very same thing previously? Then why this hullabaloo all over again? We know, we know. Even in the previous year, the legislature and Gov. Tom Wolf decided upon an agreement that relied on about $100 million through online gaming as well as online gambling. The stage was set, the law was about to be passed by the lawmakers, but somehow, eventually, they didn’t. And the series of events last year was a lot like this year. And that is why we are still a bit wary of this package having a similar fate.
But still, hopes are up this time, a little more than last year. Online gambling is now not that debatable among all the aspects of online gaming. And they kind of need to do something to minimize this large gaping issue of a huge gap in the state budget, which happens to be $200 million dollars.
If they are unsuccessful in bridging the gap, the state of Pennsylvania will fall in credit rating, and why would the lawmakers ever want that? Failure in balancing out the issues with the state budget will actually have serious consequences. Government spending will be cut down, and hence it is obvious that the institutions relying on this spending will be in quite a fix, and these include schools and social service programs that are administered by counties. Also, a state aid of about $600 million is provided to big manes in the field of education like Penn State, Temple and Lincoln universities, the veterinary school of the University of Pennsylvania as well as the University of Pittsburgh. And in the absence of this state aid, these institutions will be stuck in a state of uncertainty. Hence a lot of systems will go completely haphazard unless concrete measures are taken.
Now both the House and the Senate need to take this proposal as well as the concept of drawing revenue from online gambling very seriously, because of this time, unlike last year, a lot is at stake. And we are all waiting for a positive decision from the House in this regard.