Pennsylvania is considered as the second gambling capital in the U.S., next to Las Vegas. However, it being called as an alternative to the gambling capital in the world might soon be over. It’s most likely to overtake Las Vegas in the next decade or so when it comes to gambling.
Reports have it that Pennsylvania is planning to expand its gambling activities by allowing online betting in public areas like bus stops and airports. This huge endeavor is to push through despite the seeming lack of funds of the local government.
To avoid their financial problem from further developing, Gov. Tom Wolf signed the legislation allowing the gambling industry’s major expansion in the state. With this massive change happening, Pennsylvania will then be the fourth state to allow the legalization of online gambling, together with Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey.
However, the state would then be the first to legalize online betting, both on its state lottery and commercial casinos. This is happening because the local government is finding ways on how to attract a more loyal customer base.
And the perfect market for that are the young ones, who are 18-years-old and above. Knowing that they’re the ones who are likely to be tech-savvy, it makes perfect sense for the government to allow online gambling, as this can target more people.
What the Government Thinks About It
So what do the other people in power think about the state’s new policy? Well, the answer to that is mostly mixed. A good example of this is how Mr. Wolf sees the legalization of online casinos as a good way to balance the state’s fund deficits.
He also says that it’s a much better option instead of increasing the people’s taxes. Though he’s not that convinced that gambling should be promoted, what he implies here is that there’s no better option available.
Wolf continuous his statement by saying that the gambling expansion policy wouldn’t negatively impact the existing tax collections from other casino revenues. He also assures that the already-struggling Pennsylvania Lottery wouldn’t face further demeanors.
Another reason why Pennsylvania wholeheartedly welcomes online casinos is to have a stable form of recurring revenue. The government’s goal, in this case, is not to feed on the success of existing gambling revenues, but to multiply the revenue sources so as to stabilize the state’s funding.
New Casinos are Welcomed
But it’s not only online casinos being advocated here, but also the addition of new physical casinos. Reports have it that the new law allows the 12 existing casinos to bid license for new casinos, only that they should be smaller.
The bidding would start at an average $7.5 million, plus the table game licenses that would cost an additional $2.5 million. There is also a limit to the number of new slot machines and table games that new casinos will have. It shouldn’t exceed 750 slots and 30 live table games. As of now, the states existing casinos can have up to 5,000 slot machines.
This would surely usher in a new wave of great bonuses and freebies on gamblers, even though casino bonuses and promotions have never been on the scarce side, as can be seen for instance in this updated online casino bonus list by Freebets.co.uk. What more are we to expect if the new policy is enacted?
Interactive Gambling Zones to Rise
Even casinos are now allowed to operate interactive gambling parlors in airports and bus stops. This will encompass the whole of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Casinos can put up slots in eight airports, while bus stops can have five slot machines. These would then be called as video gaming terminals. Nevada and Puerto Rico are currently the ones that have gambling zones in airports.
So what does this tell us? Even though Pennsylvania is still considered as a second option to Nevada, it still is considered as the No. 1 state when it comes to casino revenues. It rakes in a whopping $1.4 billion yearly, and that’s only for the casino industry. Meanwhile, its lottery earns $1 billion in profits and $4 billion in sales yearly.