Pennsylvania has suddenly jumped to the forefront of states that are looking to legalize online gaming. And it seems that the Keystone State’s politicians are certainly interested in using iGaming to help shore up their $1.2 billion budget deficit. But what about Pennsylvania residents? Are they just as gung-ho about having legal online poker and casino games? Let’s check out a recent poll that was run by Lehigh Valley Live and discuss the results.
Pennsylvania Online Poker Poll shows Mostly Positive Results
At the time of this writing, voters are largely in favor of regulating iGaming. Here’s a look at the results right now:
Should Pennsylvania legalize internet gambling?
Yes – 54%
No – 42.5%
The remaining 3.5% is divided between “Let’s wait to see if Congress overturns states’ access to online gaming,” and “I don’t know/I’m not sure.”
What does this Poll prove?
It’s always hard judging from an interactive poll offered online. But with over an 11% gap between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ voters, it definitely seems like there is some support for online gaming. Obviously this isn’t going to be the deciding factor that pushes politicians to hurry and legalize iGaming as soon as possible. But Lehigh Valley’s survey is yet more evidence that online gaming is largely supported across the U.S.
Still Plenty of Work before regulating Pennsylvania Online GamingThe key here is that the majority of Pennsylvania politicians appear on board with regulated online casino games and poker. And it doesn’t hurt matters when surveys like this one also support the cause. What’s more is that there aren’t multiple divisions within the PA gaming industry – like in California – that will prevent legislation from being worked out for years. However, there are still some key points that need to be worked out.
First off, the leading bill, SB 900, proposes an alarmingly high 54% tax rate. This is in stark contrast to Nevada (6.75%) and New Jersey (17.5%), both of which saw iGaming operators struggle in the beginning. So just imagine how tough it will be for Pennsylvania online poker sites to survive if their revenue is taxed by 54%.
Another problem is that certain politicians are worried about iGaming affecting land-based casino revenue. Studies have proven this fear to be unfounded so far, but that hasn’t stopped Sen. Sean Wiley from discussing an online poker-only bill to avoid “competing” with land-based casinos.
And finally, there’s the precedent set by Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada, with all three falling short of revenue expectations. Nevertheless, despite these concerns, it seems very likely that we’ll be seeing online gaming in Pennsylvania at some point. The only question is when.