- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday night to expand casino-style gambling to websites, airports, bars and off-track betting parlors. It also would allow online lottery games and reinstate a requirement that casinos pay millions to host communities. The measure still needs approval in the Senate, which passed a narrower gambling bill last month. Here is a look at the highlights:



A liquor license holder, such as a bar, hotel, restaurant, truck stop or fraternal club, could operate slot machine-style gambling machines, called video gaming terminals. As many as 40,000 terminals would be allowed statewide. Each establishment could operate up to five, while a truck stop could operate as many as 10. The state would take 37.5 percent of the gambling revenue, with certain amounts set aside for the Lottery Fund, volunteer emergency services grants and compulsive gambling prevention programs. The license holder would get 26 percent of the gambling revenue, terminal operators would get 31 percent, host counties and municipalities would each get 2 percent and the rest would go to the cost of regulation.



Licensed commercial casinos in Pennsylvania can apply to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to operate casino-style gambling on websites and mobile applications. The fee to operate a website would be $8 million. Gross revenue from online gambling would be taxed at a 16 percent rate to the state, 2 percent for economic development projects and 1 percent to the host county. Just three states - New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada - allow online gambling.



The Pennsylvania Lottery would be able to feature online games, including its existing games, instant tickets and raffle games. The proceeds would go into the state Lottery Fund, which subsidizes programs for the elderly. The lottery would be prohibited from operating casino-style games online, such as poker, roulette, slot machines and blackjack. Four states - Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky and Michigan - allow online lottery play, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.



Casinos would be required to pay millions of dollars annually to their host communities, reinstating a mandate struck down by the state Supreme Court last year because it treated casinos differently. Under the bill, Pennsylvania’s casinos would pay 2 percent a year of gross slot-machine gambling revenues annually to the host county and $10 million annually to the host municipality, except for SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia and smaller “resort” casinos, which would pay 2 percent a year to both the host county and the host municipality.



Casinos could seek approval to operate an online gambling parlor at an international or regional airport in Pennsylvania, with an agreement from the airport authority. The machines would be accessible only to ticketed passengers. License fees would be $5 million at the Philadelphia airport; $2.5 million for the Pittsburgh airport; $1 million for Erie, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Lehigh Valley and Harrisburg; and $250,000 for Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe and University Park Airport in State College. Twenty percent of airport gambling revenue would go to the airport and 16 percent to the state.



The gaming board could authorize each casino with a horse-racing track to operate as many as 250 slot machines at up to four licensed off-track betting parlors in Pennsylvania. The license fee for each facility would be $5 million. Gambling at the sites would be taxed at a 54 percent rate, with 50 percent going to the state, 2 percent to the host municipality and 2 percent to the host county.



Daily fantasy sports betting in Pennsylvania would become regulated and taxed in Pennsylvania. Fantasy sports companies such as FanDuel and DraftKings would have to pay a $50,000 license fee and pay a 19 percent tax based on in-state participation. Applicants would have to verify that players are at least 18.



Casinos could apply to the gaming board to operate sports betting at the casino or online, should it become legal under federal law or under a federal court ruling.



Resort casinos - Valley Forge Casino in suburban Philadelphia and Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin in southwestern Pennsylvania - can pay $1 million to be relieved from requirements in the original 2004 casino law that gamblers must also take part in other amenities at the establishment.



A 2004 provision limiting ownership of casinos to no more than one controlling stake in one casino would be repealed.


Source: House Republicans, House Democrats.

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