Online gaming seems to be picking up more steam in Pennsylvania with each passing month. And Penn National, one of the state’s leading land-based casino companies, is the latest to offer their support.
Specifically, Eric Shippers, senior vice-president for Public Affairs and Govt Relations at Penn National, is the one who recently explained Penn National’s opinion on the matter. “We firmly believe (iGaming) is another vital tool to enable our industry to continue to evolve and protect what we’ve built here,” Shippers told the House Gaming Oversight Committee.
Following this statement, Shippers went on to offer Penn National’s revenue predictions on Pennsylvania iGaming for the first three years:
Year 1 – $250 million in revenue
Year 2 – $300 million in revenue
Year 3 – $350 million in revenue
Shippers added that with the 14% tax rate proposed in House Bill 649, Pennsylvania’s government would collect $49 million in revenue by the third year. The VP also explained that his projections are fairly close to Econsult (projected $307m per year) and H2 Gambling (between $225m and $315m).
Online Gaming is Totally Necessary in PA
Shippers finished his testimony by explaining how vital iGaming is with regard to helping Pennsylvania’s thriving casino industry. “In Central PA, our casino is down 7% year over year, and it’s down nearly 14% from its all-time water-mark,” Shippers explained.
He also discussed how things don’t look much brighter in the future, with an almost $1 billion MGM resort coming to National Harbor, Maryland, which is not far from Pennsylvania’s southern border. So in his opinion, everything must be done to protect the state’s 18,000 casino jobs, including allowing online poker and casino games.
Where is Pennsylvania at with Online Gaming now?
As Shippers mentioned, HB649, from Rep. John Payne, is currently making its rounds through PA’s Congress. Payne’s bill seeks to legalize both online poker and casino games, along with allowing for interstate compacts. The latter would obviously be a boon to the U.S. iGaming market as a whole, because it currently only consists of New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada – with only the latter two states sharing iPoker players.
Two other bills, HB920 by Rep. Tina Davis, and HB695 by Rep. Nick Miccarelli, are also on the table. However, seeing as how Payne heads up the Oversight Committee, it is his bill that’s expected to make it out.
The hearing that Shippers just spoke at was the final scheduled talk about the three pieces of legislation. Now, it will be up to the politicians to bring this matter to a vote and start getting HB649 (or whichever bill) through the state’s Congress.