PA iGaming Rule Based on Myth
An online poker site published a searing criticism of a little-noticed regulation included in Pennsylvania’s new online gaming law. The law includes a provision banning online gaming at casino sites. The article claims that this regulation was created based on a “false narrative” created when casino owners testified before legislative committees while the law was being debated.
“A false narrative was pushed during the gaming debate in the state that led to not only this strange prohibition, but also the exorbitant tax rate on online slots,” wrote Steve Ruddock in Online Poker Report. “The fear was that if online gambling has any advantage over land-based gaming, casinos would try to push all of their customers to online games.
Ruddock cited Parx Casino CEO Anthony Ricci as one of the people making this claim, quoting Ricci from an early 2017 hearing, “I find it impossible to assume that a brick-and-mortar casino paying 59 percent in taxes will not lose significant business to an online operator paying 15 percent in an open, unprotected market.”
Senators Robert Tomlinson and Lisa Boscola made the same argument, the report said, before citing real-life examples that disprove the myth.
“During the World Series of Poker in Nevada, Caesars encourages players to play both live (at WSOP Nevada) and online simultaneously,” Ruddock wrote. “In the same vein, poker players waiting for a seat in a Borgata poker game on Friday night might log on to its online poker room and play some hands online while they wait. A guest might log on and play online slots while they wait for their significant other to finish getting ready for dinner, or during the 20-minute wait for a table at a restaurant. The beauty of online gambling is it people can play in short bursts.”
Ruddock also cited Resorts Casino’s iGaming Lounge in Atlantic City, which the casino has effectively boosted the company’s profits and has provided nearly 25,000 registrations for the online service.