Pennsylvania Makes Preparations For Legal Sports Gambling

State Sen. Jay Costa says it will be a few months before you can bet on local sports here.

Larry Richert and John Shumway
May 15, 2018 - 4:52 pm
Man betting

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - The wait will soon be over and you won’t have to pay for a plane ride to Las Vegas if you want to make a (legal) bet on a sporting team.

Since 1992, there has been a law in place that makes it illegal to bet on sports almost all over the country.

Yesterday the Supreme Court overturned the federal law that forbids sports betting. Each state will now decide whether or not they want sports betting to be allowed inside their territory.

PA State Senator Jay Costa tells the KDKA Morning News, “Now all the activity will be in front of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. They will be setting up the regulations with respect to the application process, the licensing process, and the scope of the type of betting that could occur to the sports betting programs.”

Now the waiting game starts.

It is going to take months until someone can actually walk into Rivers Casino and place a bet on the Pirates game.

“It’s going to happen faster than a lot of other states. Not only have we set up the structure so to speak, we’ve also set the tax rate which is 34% on the casinos and 2% goes into a statewide pot. So in fact it’s a 36% tax rate,” said Costa.

This is a significant tax. Some people may travel to West Virginia or go to a “bookie” in order to avoid paying this high tax.

Costa continued, “The tax rate is not necessarily in effect to the individual, but rather it’s going to be to the entity.”

However the tax is the reason sports betting is becoming legal.

Governor Tom Wolf told Larry and John, “This is money that can be used for the things that are really important to Pennsylvanians like education and health care.”

This allows for more cash to flow through the state’s congress and generate revenue. States already struggle to maintain their budget and the tax from sports betting will help these States stay above it.

“The fee for a casino to sign up is 10 million dollars each,” said Wolf.

The state of Pennsylvania has 18 casinos. It will cost the state 180 million dollars to fund a sporting book at every casino in the state. The money should be made back in one fiscal year.

This is expected to make sporting events more entertaining some fans and will add value to sporting teams.

This may change the way people view sports. It will be interesting to see how many people go from using a “bookie,” to a casino. 

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