The Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Wolf signed into law a bill legalizing the gambling activities. A week in advance, both branches of the legislative body of the State adopted the draft. The Senators first supported the initiated law on the expansion of gambling within virtual space and then it was referred to the House of Representatives.
According to the result of the poll, the Senate vote was 31-19 in favour of the innovation, and in the House of Representatives, 109 congressmen voted in opposition to 72.
Finally, the novel legislation came into force after approval and signature of the Governor of the State, Tom Wolf.
Thus, Pennsylvania became the fourth region in the United States after New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, to allow online gambling.
The new bill permits an operation of online casino and poker rooms, as well as fantasy sports and online lotteries throughout the state. In addition, the online casino terminals will be available in truck parking (travel centres) and airports.
Moreover, it is decided to establish 10 new mini-casinos within the boundaries of the state. Lottery operators to be permitted providing fantasy sports in bars and diners issuing only lottery tickets previously. Establishments will draw 5% of the fantasy sports sale on their territory.
Online casinos will pay taxation rate of 54% for all types of slot machines and 16% - for board games and online poker.
Pennsylvania's regulatory bodies have already begun a process of developing rules and conditions for operators to obtain licenses to conduct online gambling activity. Twelve licenses will be issued for each type of gaming operation: for different types of slots, board games, fantasy, and poker.
As soon as the licensing process is announced, gambling operators will have 120 days to submit an application. In case some licenses remain unused, they will be allowed to apply for by those who were not ready to filing in due time. However, given the high tax rates to be paid by online casinos, the gambling market participants believe that some free licenses may remain at the end of the process.
According to The Associated Press, the state treasury has already received its first $1 million from the casino of Valley Forge after the passage of the bill. Previously, this gambling facility confined itself to tourists only, operating under the "resort" license. Today, the room for the casino's work has considerably expanded. On its web site, the Valley Forge casino invites all gambling enthusiasts to visit the facility, as it is now open to a wide audience.
Experts predicted that the legalization of gambling on the Internet could provide the Pennsylvania's budget about $239 million in the following fiscal year, which would help to resolve ongoing financial pressure in the state.
It was also known earlier that there had been changes in the regulatory rules for gambling operators in New Jersey.
Many analysts see a good sign that the U.S. government has been slowly softening its laws on gambling on the Internet.