Weekly Update from Rich Muny, VP of Player Relations
I have good news to share. On Tuesday, May 9th, the Pennsylvania Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee is expected to hold a hearing on legislation to license and regulate online poker and online casino-style gaming in the Keystone State.
While this is good news, unfortunately, in their quest to maximize tax revenues they can pull from this industry, some PA lawmakers are making this far more complicated than it needs to be.
One proposal is to tax poker and table games at 16% and slots at 54% — the same as bricks-and-mortar casino tax rates. While the poker tax itself is not onerous, the slot tax would be felt by poker players by causing fewer casinos to apply for licenses. It would also reduce overall site profitability, which could affect rake, rakeback, player promotions, and the advertising needed to bring in enough players for good liquidity. And, of course, it could set a negative precedent for other states.
Another proposal is even worse, taxing poker at 16% — with the lower tax rate again showing that lawmakers there are hearing from poker players — but slots and table games at 54%. This proposal would require separate licenses for poker and casino-style gaming, each costing $5 million (the current proposed fee is $10 million for a single poker and casino-style gaming license). A big issue there is that the Pennsylvania market is simply not big enough to support twelve sites large enough to justify paying $5 million for a license, so we would likely see just two or three poker sites in that state. In other words, we would see less competition and Pennsylvania would see less in licensing revenue.
Be assured that PPA will continue lobbying Pennsylvania lawmakers for the best legislation for poker players in the state.
Let’s send prefilled, editable tweets to seven Pennsylvania Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee members in support of licensed poker websites with sustainable tax rates:.
- Sen. Mario Scavello (R): http://spredd.it/bD7M8A7c
- Sen. Joseph Scarnati (R): http://spredd.it/Aap6f9af
- Sen. Wayne D. Fontana (D): http://spredd.it/2aq3l9c0
- Sen. Lawrence M. Farnese (D): http://spredd.it/IfuUDk77
- Sen. Rich Alloway (R): http://spredd.it/E19dGYKF
- Sen. Dave Argall (R): http://spredd.it/b2tNmdra
- Sen. Lisa Boscola (D): http://spredd.it/98adIa3p
Poker Advocacy with Rich Muny Webcast
On this week’s show, in an encore webcast, poker pro Jamie Kerstetter joined me for a discussion on poker and poker activism. Please be sure to check it out!
Poker Advocacy with Rich Muny airs live Tuesdays at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT on OnTilt Radio. Each show features great guests and the best discussion on poker legislation. Please be sure to tune in every Tuesday evening at www.ontiltradio.com.
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Thank you for your continued support!
Proud to play,
This week’s headlines:
The Poker Players Alliance
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The Poker Players Alliance is a nonprofit membership organization comprised of poker players and enthusiasts from around the United States who have joined together to speak with one voice to promote the game and to protect poker players’ rights. Visit us at theppa.org