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Guy Not Named Sheldon Adelson Thinks PA Should Ban All Online Gambling

Days after the Pennsylvania House Gaming Oversight Committee hosted a positive hearing on potential online gaming expansion, a new bill has emerged in the Keystone State, but this time the sponsor and cosponsors are trying to prohibit online gaming. This new bill, HB 1013, introduced on April 20 by Representative Thomas Murt and cosponsored by seven other lawmakers expressly prohibits Pennsylvania from regulating online gambling, and makes no qualms about its intention as the memo reads: “Banning Internet Gambling in Pennsylvania.” The bill’s text reads in part: “The board shall not promulgate rules and regulations allowing any form of Internet gambling.” The bill was referred to the House Gaming Oversight Committee after being introduced. It’s unclear who is pushing for the bill behind the scenes, but it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if we were to find out Sheldon Adelson’s fingerprints are on the legislation. New year, new effort at PA online gambling prohibition A somewhat similar bill was floated last year by Representative Mario Scavello. Scavello’s bill from 2014 would not only have prohibited online gambling, but it sought to make it a criminal offense, punishable by stiff fines and/or jail time. A first offense would result in a fine of up to $300 fine and up to 90 days in jail. A second offense could be punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 fine and up to a year in jail. You read that correctly, Rep. Scavello thought it would be a good idea to send people to prison for playing online poker, because you know, it’s not like we have a prison overcrowding problem. Scavello’s archaic bill was supported by Sheldon Adelson’s anti-online gambling lobby group, the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG), who called the bill a “step in the right direction,” in a statement by CSIG-cochairs, former New York Governor George Pataki, former Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln, and former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb: “We call on the Pennsylvania Legislature to vote in favor of this bill and send a powerful message that online gaming has no place in American society.” Scavello’s bill was roundly criticized for its overreach, and eventually left for dead. While HB 1013 doesn’t go nearly as far, it will almost certainly suffer the same fate. Here is why. Spitting into the wind HB 1013 is unlikely to gain traction for two reasons:
The momentum in Pennsylvania is all on the side of legalization and regulation.
The leadership in the Gaming Oversight Committee is clearly in favor of regulation. It is certainly not a given that Pennsylvania will pass online gaming legislation in 2015, but it appears to be a case of when not if. Three different legislators have already introduced bills that would legalize online gaming in the state. They are:
John Payne’s HB 649, a comprehensive bill that would legalize and regulate online casino and poker;
Nick Micarelli’s HB 695 – a poker-only bill with strict Bad Actor language that goes against the zeitgeist;
Tina Davis’s HB 920, which seems to be little more than a redundant, watered down version of Rep. Payne’s legislation. The GO Committee is also in the midst of a number of hearings on online gambling. If the next hearing is as positive as the most recent one, HB 1013 will be filed in the large blue file cabinet with waste management emblazoned on the side. The Gaming Oversight Committee passed a resolution (HR 140) which was also introduced by Chairman Payne. The resolution calls on Congress to oppose Sheldon Adelson’s Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) bill, and/or any legislation that would prohibit states from legalizing intrastate online gaming. The resolution easily passed by an 18-8 margin – a clear indication of where the Pennsylvania GO Committee stands on the regulation/prohibition debate. Finally, considering that House Gaming Oversight Committee Chair John Payne and Democratic Chair Nick Kotik are both pushing for regulation, it’s unlikely they will allow HB 1013 to move forward in the GO Committee. So you’re saying there’s a chance… The chances this latest attempt to prohibit online gambling passes are almost nonexistent. In fact, the bill will likely receive nary a mention in the coming weeks and months as the talk remains focused on expanding into the online gambling sector in the Keystone State. The appetite for state-level prohibition, particularly in Pennsylvania, is simply not there.

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Sands Bethlehem Rolls Out Electonic Table Games ‘Stadium’

Sands Bethlehem has launched its Electronic Table Games stadium this week, the first Pennsylvania casino to offer such a product. Sands and ETGs, at a glance The announcement that Sands had launched ETGs came this past week, via the provider of the games, International Game Technology (IGT). According to a press release: The installation of the ETG’s covers 5,900 square feet. Table games, just bigger Offering table gaming via an electronic platform, of course, is not a terribly new concept. Offering blackjack, roulette and other traditional table games via a machine format has been around for quite a while. But the “stadium” style offering has not been deployed en masse in the US. More from the presser from Nick Khin, IGT Senior Vice President of Sales, North American Gaming & Interactive: Wait, Sands isn’t worried about casino jobs? The implementation of automated table games — which require no dealers to staff — is an interesting decision from Sands. One of the reasons Sands and its CEO, Sheldon Adelson, opposes Pennsylvania online casinos is because of the impact on casino-related jobs. The introduction of massive automated table games would seem to be in conflict with that idea. From Forbes in 2013: And testimony from Sands Bethlehem President Mark Juliano in front of the Pennsylvania Senate: Which leads to the obvious question: Does Sands really care about jobs in PA, or just its own bottom line? The introduction of gaming machines that theoretically hurt jobs for live dealers would seem to answer that question. Photo by CyberXRef used under license CC BY-SA 3.0

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SUNY Report: Pennsylvania Headed For Tough Times If Online Gambling Bill Passes

1 Bad times call for more gambling
2 Wallets more frugal after economic downturn, competition increases
3 Gambling revenues in the context of HB649
4 Payne points to revenue as reason to pass bill
5 Keystone state pulls in second-most tax revenue in nation
6 Report says uncertain future ahead despite big tax revenues Big revenues today don’t equate to big revenues tomorrow. That’s the conclusion of a recent State University of New York (SUNY) report about the Pennsylvania gaming industry. In the 40-page document, SUNY Rockefeller Institute of Government analyst Lucy Dadayan said while the state’s gambling-tax revenue is a boon for the budget now, history says that revenue will decline over time. The report, titled “State Revenues from Gambling: Short-Term Relief, Long-Term Disappointment,” comes in the midst of the proposal of HB 649, a bill that would legalize and regulate Pennsylvania online gambling. Bad times call for more gambling According to Dadayan, history shows expanding gambling is one of the tools of choice for states who are struggling with revenue. “States are more likely to expand gambling operations when tax revenues are depressed by a weak economy, or to pay for new spending programs,” she wrote. Dadayan went on to point out “many states” augmented the gambling sector in response to the Great Depression. Wallets more frugal after economic downturn, competition increases The report said a couple of other factors that have soured long-term revenues are:
Consumers coming off the Great Recession are tighter with their discretionary spending.
Those consumers are more prone to dial back the money they put toward casinos and racing.
The continued expansion of gambling operations in Maryland, New York City and Ohio will continue to cut into Pennsylvania’s gaming revenue Dayadan’s final conclusions were not positive. She said Pennsylvania’s gambling revenues “are short-lived and create longer-term fiscal challenges for the states as revenue growth slow or declines.” Gambling revenues in the context of HB649 As mentioned earlier, the release of the study comes at an interesting time. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives Gaming Oversight committee approved HB 649 with a vote of 18-8 in November. However, the bill never made it through the House. In December, the bill was tabled, the legislative equivalent of an airplane holding pattern. Lawmakers “untabled” the bill this past March and now it is open for discussion once again. The most outspoken legislative proponent of the gambling bill is Representative John Payne, a Republican from Dauphin, Penn. Payne leads the oversight committee which first approved the bill, and he is the prime sponsor of the bill. Payne points to revenue as reason to pass bill In an interview with The Morning Call, Payne said his main argument is that the bill will inject millions of dollars into Pennsylvania’s budget. He scoffed at Dadayan’s claims that gaming revenue isn’t sustainable over the long haul. “We know people are going to gamble, so we might as well regulate it and tax it. I hope they didn’t waste too much taxpayer money on that study,” Payne was quoted as saying. “What we need to do is give casinos the tools to compete with other states.” Payne’s disregard for the study was evident when he questioned whether or not the author had ever heard of Las Vegas. Keystone state pulls in second-most tax revenue in nation However, it’s easy to understand why the politician would feel confident that expanding the state’s gaming sector would bring in enough money to alleviate the state’s $2 billion budget gap. According to numbers provided by The Morning Call, Pennsylvania lottery, land-based casino and off-track betting tax revenues rank second in the nation. Only New York earns more in those three areas, but around two-thirds of the state’s $3.2 billion take comes from lottery sales. One of the big factors behind the state’s hefty tax revenues is its 55 percent tax on slot machines, a huge number compared to sub-10 percent rates in New Jersey. Report says uncertain future ahead despite big tax revenues Despite Payne’s optimism about the bill, Dadayan’s research points to skepticism. Revenues for several states dropped significantly between 2008 and 2015. Though that time frame includes the recession, Dadayan said competition from new casinos in competing states played a sizable role taking a few states’ big revenue and distributing it to states with expanded gambling laws.

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Pennsylvania Online Gaming Bill Has New Life, Passes Committee Vote

Pennsylvania could be on its way to becoming the fourth state to legalize online gaming. A bill that would permit the state’s casinos to operate poker and casino games over the Internet passed out of a house committee this morning. The bill, HB 649, is sponsored by Rep. John Payne, chairman of the Pennsylvania Gaming Oversight Committee. HB 649 passed the committee by an 18-8 margin. It now heads to the full Pennsylvania House for a vote. If it passes, it would then head to the state Senate. The bill may also be attached to a state budget, which is 130 days past due. What HB 649 permits HB 649 would permit online poker and casinos games in the state. Pennsylvania casinos would operate regulated online games. Outside companies could provide software to Pennsylvania casino licensees. Casinos would pay $5 million in licensing fees under HB 649. Software providers would pay $1 million to get licensed. The tax rate would be 14 percent of gross revenues. In addition to online poker, any casino game legal at Pennsylvania casinos would be permitted over the Internet at licensed sites. This includes slots, video poker, blackjack, roulette, craps and a variety of proprietary table games. Three states already permit licensed online gaming. Nevada became the first state to regulated online poker in April 2013. Delaware and New Jersey launched online poker and casinos games in November 2013. Poker Players Alliance reaction John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, released this statement:

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How Pennsylvania Might Regulate Daily Fantasy Sports: A Tale Of Two Approaches

1 Approach No.1: Regulated like gambling
2 Approach No.2: The fantasy industry model bill?
3 Which DFS bill will win? Pennsylvania is still waiting on an actual bill that would regulate the daily fantasy sports industry. But when the state legislature finally sits down to look at the issue in earnest, it may be faced with two different ways of approaching DFS. Pennyslvania lags far behind the majority of states, which have already introduced bills focusing on daily fantasy sports. Approach No.1: Regulated like gambling The idea of treating DFS much like the regulated gambling industry — either the land-based casino model or online gambling — is an idea that has been floating around Pennsylvania for months. The idea of tying DFS to casinos actually came up nearly a year ago, when a bill that would allow casinos to offer fantasy sports contests surfaced. That bill, however, had no oversight for the industry as it exists currently, and it never went anywhere. When lawmakers have talked about the issue, it has largely been through the lens that it needs to be treated like gambling. To wit:
Rep. George Dunbar planned to amend his casino DFS bill to become a regulatory bill that would put it under the purview of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
The state passed a bill that commissioned a study of DFS as a “gambling product.” More on that in-progress study here (paywall).
There has been talk that a gaming expansion package — one that includes online gambling and poker — would be the final home of DFS regulation. What the final language of this approach to DFS will look like is unknown, but it appears that it would include heavy licensing fees and taxes on gross revenue, and controls much like already exist for PA casinos (or like what exists for New Jersey online casinos). The biggest issue might be calling DFS gambling instead of a game skill, something the industry has vehemently opposed. That is something that would be rectified in the opposing approach. Approach No.2: The fantasy industry model bill? The more recent effort — which is still in the formative stages, as well — is a potential bill from State Sen. Anthony Williams. His bill would classify DFS as a game of skill. Here’s what else we know about it, from his co-sponsorship memorandum: Operators of websites would be required to register with the PA Gaming Control Board and to remit taxes based on gross revenues earned from play in the state. Following the lead of Virginia, this industry-supported legislation would also protect players over 18 from engaging in problem gambling, protect their personal information, and prohibit employees of fantasy gaming companies from profiting off of “insider information.” If it takes the form of the Virginia legislation — which became law in March — it would be much like the legislation that has been pushed by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association in a variety of states. However, the Virginia law is only truly applauded by the two largest operators — DraftKings and FanDuel — as a licensing fee of $50,000 is too high for most smaller operators to afford. The bill, without seeing the actual language, seems like it would be far less onerous for fantasy sports operators to comply with, both from a monetary and logistical standpoint. Which DFS bill will win? If one were handicapping the two approaches, the gambling approach seems more likely to win out. The state’s lawmakers have had little interest, so far, in performing gymnastics in regards to vocabulary — i.e. calling something they believe to be gambling a “game of skill.” However, Pennsylvania has been moving slowly and thoughtfully on the matter of DFS. The idea that DFS operators may pass on Pennsylvania because they can’t afford to be called a gambling product (from a legal standpoint in the U.S.) could give legislators reason to pause. Is it possible some sort of hybrid approach surfaces — one where DFS is classified as a game of skill but is still treated like other forms of regulated gambling — end up being the winner? That might be the smart bet.

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Pennsylvania Still High On Future Of Regulated Sports Betting

If the federal government — either through the courts or Congress — ever allows for regulated sports betting, it appears Pennsylvania will be among the first in line to offer it. The latest on Pennsylvania and sports betting Pennsylvania’s legislature has been eyeing legal sports betting for some time now. Earlier this year, a House committee passed a resolution asking for Congress to repeal the federal law that prohibits sports betting in most jurisdictions: the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. The latest momentum? The House Gaming Oversight Committee considered the subject of sports betting again during a recent hearing, and some members talked about it. From Penn Live: Next year for sports betting, though? Payne’s optimism about the timeframe for legal sports betting could be a bit misplaced. While it’s possible that it could happen at some point in the future, a repeal of PASPA is likely still years away. However, a Congressional subcommittee will examine the topics of daily fantasy sports and sports betting on May 11. There is a chance that we discover during that hearing that there is a federal appetite for revisiting the ban on sports betting outside of Nevada and limited wagering in three other states. Of course, it’s also possible that sports betting becomes legal through the courts. New Jersey is fighting to allow sports betting within its borders; however, legal analysts believe the state will lose its current appeal. Pennsylvania has also considered regulating the daily fantasy sports industry. Next steps for PA sports betting If Pennsylvania is truly serious about pushing for legal sports betting, it has a few things it could do:
The full legislature could pass the resolution mentioned above.
A bill legalizing sports betting could be drafted and passed. Rep. Nick Kotik is in favor of the latter suggestion. More from Penn Live: Will Pennsylvania have legal sports betting any time soon? It won’t happen this year, but Pennsylvania will be at the forefront if and when it is possible.

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Sands Bethlehem Fined For Underage Gambling

Sands Bethlehem has been fined $36,000 by the state of Pennsylvania for alleged underage gambling violations. The Sands violations The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced the violations via its website this week. From the PGCB: No other fines for underage gambling were levied against any other Pennsylvania casino. A fine was issued to Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh for an automatic shuffler error. A report at had more details on the violations, and other Sands Bethlehem violations in the past: Underage violations from an Adelson property? Given the stance of Sheldon Adelson — the owner of Sands Bethlehem and a variety of other casinos around the world — on online gambling, the fines are pretty ironic. Adelson’s lobbyists and politicians who support the Restoration of America’s Wire Act — a bill to ban online gaming — contend that children could gamble online if it were easily accessible. For instance, from the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling website: That assessment has little merit based on the experiences of the regulated online poker and casino markets in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware. Seeing as underage gambling a major point of contention in the fight against allowing regulated online gaming, one would think Adelson’s brick-and-mortar gaming establishments would have a sterling track record on the subject. However, that is obviously not the case. Sands Bethlehem is the only property that is opposed to legislation that would allow Pennsylvania online casinos. The latest on online gambling in PA Online gambling appears to be a part of ongoing budget discussions in the state, although to what extent is unknown. At worst, it appears that online gambling will be considered in the spring, apart from budget talks.

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Four Questions That Might Be Answered At PA’s Online Gambling Hearing

On Wednesday the Pennsylvania Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee (or just CERD for short) will lay all of its cards on the table when it hosts a hearing on comprehensive gambling reform in the Keystone State. The hearing will touch on all of the topics from a new bill introduced on Tuesday, SB 900. SB 900 covers a number of gaming reforms ranging from online gambling to the elimination of the membership fee that Category 3 casinos are required to collect. The new legislation is sponsored by Senator Kim Ward, and cosponsored by all nine Republicans on the CERD Committee which includes Senate President pro tempore Joe Scarnati. The following four questions will hopefully be answered at the hearing, and the answers will likely be a barometer of whether or not online gambling will be included in the state’s upcoming budget for FY2016. 4. Is Parx still calling for in-person registrations? In 2014 Parx Casino took an apathetic view towards online gaming expansion in Pennsylvania. Parx Chairman Bob Green told lawmakers he wasn’t sold on online gaming expansion, but if it was being discussed Parx would be involved in shaping the law and if it passed, Parx would offer online gambling. Parx later partnered with GameAccount Network, one of the few announced partnerships in Pennsylvania. However, in 2015 Parx floated the idea of in-person registrations, which is included in SB 900 and considered anathema to iGaming analysts. If the company is adamant about this restriction, it might derail online gambling expansion as this will be a poison pill to a lot of other casinos. 3. Have any other partnerships been formed? At a previous hearing we learned of the partnership between 888 and Mount Airy Casino, so it’s not out of the question that other partnerships may be informally mentioned or officially announced at Wednesday’s hearing. If new partnerships are talked about in the abstract (more likely) or if a casino representative will name a specific company (less likely), it would be a good sign for online gambling expansion in the state. 2. How much is Sands going to fight PA online gambling? This will likely be more of a “read between the lines” kind of answer, as Sands representative Mark Juliano, the President of Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, will almost certainly tow the company, and Sheldon Adelson’s, line and be vociferously opposed to iGaming. How these protestations are received by the committee will be far more telling than anything Juliano says. If Sands has been pushing behind the scenes, I would expect some lawmakers to bring up these concerns unprompted, and perhaps lead Juliano down the “bash online gambling” trail. On the other hand, if Sands is resigned to online gambling coming to Pennsylvania (which could be the case), the fear-mongering at the hearing may be muted, and lawmakers will likely ignore or even challenge some of Juliano’s assertions. 1. What revenue projections will the state use? The million dollar question will of course be what amount of revenue can Pennsylvania generate from online gambling, and will it be enough to bring Governor Tom Wolf to the bargaining table with some of his tax proposals in hand? This is also important for another reason, as Pennsylvania doesn’t want to come up short in an attempt to shoot the moon, effectively pulling a New Jersey by making revenue predictions the industry simply cannot live up to. Fortunately, even the high-end estimates are nowhere near as ridiculous as New Jersey’s early predictions.

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Senate Hearing Reveals Strong Support For Legalizing Online Gambling In Pennsylvania

Emissaries from numerous Pennsylvania casinos were on hand in Harrisburg last week for a public hearing held by Senator Kim Ward’s Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee. A large portion of Wednesday’s conversation surrounded online gaming legalization, an effort which now appears to command sizeable support among both state lawmakers and casino representatives. In attendance at the hearing were delegates from Pennsylvania’s Sugarhouse, Rivers, Meadows, Penn National, Sands Bethlehem, Harrah’s, Parx, and Valley Forge casinos. Each casino supported online gaming regulation to some extent, with the exception of Sheldon Adelson’s Sands which, predictably, opposed the bill outright. Absent from the conversation were Mohegan and Presque, as well as Live! Hotel & Casino, which is still under construction and slated to open next year in Philadelphia. Debating SB 900 The hearing represented a growing legislative trend of support for online gambling in Pennsylvania. Five regulatory bills have already been introduced in 2015, and SB 900 is the latest such effort from state lawmakers. Sponsored by Ward, SB 900 was the immediate cause for last week’s committee hearing, which also delved occasionally into questions of tavern gaming and liquor laws. SB 900 included language championed by Parx boss Bob Green, which would require online players to register in-person at a casino. Even as Green reiterated his support for live registration at Wednesday’s hearing, others in attendance condemned the approach as impractical and potentially costly. The caveat was a central cause for SB 900’s initially cold reception, but at the hearing, Ward noted the terms of the bill were not yet finalized. Such a requirement could become a sticking point that has a chance of derailing PA online gaming legislation. Casino execs support legalizing PA online gambling “We are in favor of online gaming, as long as it’s affordable and the details are ferreted out,” said Meadows General Manager Sean Sullivan. “We have to be considerate of what the fee of entry is, and what the taxes are.” Sullivan said land-based casinos in nearby West Virginia and Ohio are currently “pillaging” business in the state. Caesars Vice President Michael Cohen told lawmakers online gaming would attract a huge, younger demographic not currently drawn to brick and mortar establishments. Four-fifths of online registrants are entirely new players, Cohen said, of which fifteen percent then venture into live casinos for the first time. “Acquiring new players is the lifeblood of the industry,” said Richard Schwartz of Harrah’s, who also spoke out against the live registration system proposed by Green, comparing the process to registering for Netflix at a movie theater. Legalized online gaming would counteract the “poaching” of Pennsylvania players, Schwartz said, adding it would lead to “little overlap” with land-based receipts. Tax questions remain For Pennsylvania casinos to compete in the online marketplace, Schwartz emphasized a need for finalized legislation to mandate a tax equal to or below that of New Jersey, noting that many offshore operators are subject to tax rates as low as one percent. But Senator Robert Tomlinson, a member of Ward’s committee, condemned Schwartz’s call for a tax rate of 15 percent or lower. Casinos would capitalize on higher online profit margins, Tomlinson argued, and divest from brick and mortar operations. “If you see an advantage in the tax rate, you’re going to take advantage of that,” Tomlinson said. “If we give you a tax rate that incentivizes you to give people a cell phone and an app and go home, that’s a scary point to me.”

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AGA Voices Opposition To Proposed Tax On Casino Promotional Credits In PA

The American Gaming Association has come out against a recent proposal by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf that seeks to impose a tax on promotional credits handed out by the state’s casinos. The AGA’s position on the tax In a letter sent to Governor Wolf and key legislators, AGA Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Sara Rayme wrote: “… the American Gaming Association (AGA) has serious concerns with your proposal to tax promotional credits, a crucial marketing tool for casinos that generates millions of dollars in tax revenues for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania each year.” The AGA letter goes on to say that the new tax would likely have the opposite effect the Governor intends; a concern I broached when the governor’s plan was first introduced a week ago. As Rayme notes, “While we appreciate the difficult budget deficit facing Pennsylvania, taxing promotional credits would likely lead to a decrease in tax revenue from casinos – the exact opposite of the intended result.” If Wolf’s plan were adopted it’s likely the value of promotional credits would reach a tipping point, and many casinos would drastically cut down on the amount of promotional credits they give away. As the AGA notes, this could lead to less visitation and traffic in the state’s casinos and therefore less revenue for the state. The letter also makes note of the already high tax burden Pennsylvania casinos pay, as 55% of slot machine revenue and 14% of all table game revenue goes directly to the state. According to the Morning Call, the casinos that would be hardest hit by Wolf’s proposed tax would be AGA members, Las Vegas Sands (Sands Bethlehem), Greenwood Racing (Parx Casino), Rush Street Gaming (Rivers Casino and Sugarhouse Casinos), Penn National (Hollywood Casino), Caesars Entertainment (Harrah’s), and the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority (Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs). Two of those entities, Las Vegas Sands and Caesars are among the heavy hitters of the casino industry and the AGA. Wolf’s proposal Under Wolf’s promotional tax plan, casinos would have to pay an 8% tax on free slot play and match play coupons and vouchers for table games, essentially charging them to run what have historically been considered marketing campaigns to attract customers. These giveaways are seen as the fuel that brings day trippers to the casinos by bus from as far off as New York City. The AGA likened these promotional credits to grocery store coupons, or a BoGo offer sent to specific customers by a shoe store, although I would have compared them to free appetizers at a bar or some other loss-leader. In the letter Rayme made the following case for promotional credits: “Promotional credit marketing programs in casinos are no different than grocery store coupons, which are widely used to attract more customers to purchase and consume more goods. Direct marketing, which involves sending promotional free play to patrons, is much like a shoe store sending a customer a buy one, get one free coupon. Promotional credits are a critical part of casino marketing because they:
Incentivize customers to increase their real-money wagering and spur increased visitation;
Empower casino operators to respond to market conditions, customers’ preferences and the broader economic environment; and
More than triple the return on investment of issuing promotional credits.” The bigger picture It should also be noted that this fight is taking place amid a backdrop of a budget stalemate between the governor and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives that has gone on for over six months. Wolf’s proposal could very well be the governor throwing every idea against the wall to see if anything sticks, since the longer the stalemate goes, the worse it will be for all Pennsylvanians. The legislature is also considering a massive gaming expansion package that would legalize online gaming in the state; add slot machines to select airports and off-track-betting parlors; make structural changes to casino licenses; and perhaps legalize daily fantasy sports in the Keystone State.

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