But there are some key distinctions:
HB 901 would place control over VLTs in the hands of the Department of Revenue rather than the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (although the legislation does provide Revenue with the opportunity to partner with the PGCB for the limited purpose of developing and verifying specifications for the VLTs).
Additionally, HB 901 is silent regarding residency requirements and eliminates the “distributors,” combining that role with that of the “Operators,” who would “buy, sell, own, maintain, service or distribute video gaming machines for placement in licensed establishments.”
The net profits would be distributed: 40% to the General Fund; 30% to the licensed establishment; and 30% to the operator. Under HB 808, the General Fund would receive 34% and establishments and operators would each receive 33%.
So what’s next:
The introduction of a second VLT bill in less than a month is a positive sign for VLT proponents. If either bill is to survive, it likely won’t be done without heavy compromise and amendment, so neither bill is set in stone. The House Gaming Oversight continues to be very active on this issue and others – a hearing was held last week on this issue and a hearing scheduled next week on Internet gaming.