On April 22, 2013, HB 1235 was introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, which would authorize and regulate internet gaming in Pennsylvania. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Gaming Oversight for review.
The legislation would grant the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board the exclusive authority to regulate intrastate internet gaming. Internet gaming could only be offered by a licensed Pennsylvania casino in good standing, and can only be offered to customers who are over 21 and physically located in Pennsylvania. Before offering internet wagering, a casino must file a petition for an internet gaming certificate with the PGCB. That petition must identify all principals or key employees who will be involved in internet gaming; list all games for which authorization is sought; estimate the number of additional jobs that will be created at the casino as a result of internet gaming; explain any financing that may be necessary to start internet gaming; information to establish that the applicant has sufficient business ability to create and maintain a successful internet operation; and detailed plans and internal controls regarding the establishment of internet gaming.
The certificate may be issued if the PGCB is satisfied that the proposed operations comply with Pennsylvania law and regulations, that appropriate controls are in place to exclude unauthorized or underage inviduals, and that the internal and accounting controls are adequate to ensure the integrity of internet gaming. Notably, a licensee must commit that it will not reduce the number of slot machines and table games on its premises as a result of internet gaming. Internet gaming certificates are subject to renewal every three years. The PGCB must grant or deny an internet gaming petition within 90 days of filing.
All internet gaming equipment is to be located in a restricted area within the casino's premises, and all wagers are deemed initiated and placed in Pennsylvania, regardless of any routing of the transaction. However, wagers may be accepted from outside Pennsylvania if it is conducted pursuant to a reciprocal agreement with another state, or if federal law changes to permit interstate internet gaming.
The one-time fee for issuance of an internet gaming certificate is $5 million. The renewal fee is $500,000. The tax on internet gross revenue will be 28%.
The bill was introduced with 12 co-sponsors. At this time, its chances of passage are unknown.