As soon as Monday, the Senate will be voting on a bill that will regulate online gambling in the state of Pennsylvania. This bill will not only legalize online gambling but it will also allow slot machines in off-track betting locations and airports. The Supreme Court has given Pennsylvania until January 2017 to come to a decision on the matter but there is another big issue involved which has the mighty powers that be pushing for resolution before the end of the 2016 legislative session. We will talk about that other issue a little later. The end date of the session just happens to fall on this upcoming Wednesday so it is no surprise that everyone will be anxiously waiting to hear the results by then.

How Are Laws Made?

All laws start off as “ideas” and a representative promotes or supports that idea and that idea is made into a bill. From that point, the bill is assigned to the committee for reviewing. With the approval of the committee, the bill is then given a date to be either voted on, debated or amended. If the bill passes this stage, the bill moves to the Senate. During the bill’s time in the Senate, it can be released, debated and voted on. From there, a committee made up of House and Senate members work out all the kinks to make it transparent.  Once that is all done, the bill is sent back to the House and the Senate for final approval. The President from there has 10 days to sign or veto the bill.

Another Issue In The Mix

Earlier we talked about another issue involved which is prompting lawmakers to speed up the process of getting this gambling bill voted on. Some casinos end up paying very hefty taxes that outweigh what other casinos are paying all while generating less revenue. The reason behind this is because according to Pennsylvania’s 2004 gambling bill, all casinos, with the exclusion of Philadelphia, Nemacolin and Valley Forge casinos, are required to pay $10 million a year to their host municipalities, or two percent of slots revenue, whichever is greater. The Supreme Court ruled this unconstitutional back in June and because of that ruling, there is a $140 million hole in the annual revenue that local communities receive from gaming in the state. Even though they are still waiting for the Senate to vote, the state budget already includes $100 million in revenue expected to be generated by the new gambling bill once passed. This will kill two birds with one stone and make everyone happy.