Even though they remain controversial, Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs) and skill games in the state of Pennsylvania have proven to be a very lucrative business. The sector is quite profitable and this has prompted lawmakers in the state to consider bringing it under regulation just like all other forms of gaming. For a long time, such a move was nothing more than mere speculation but now everything is much clearer particularly because we now have an official date for the Senate hearing.
The Senate will be going back to work on October 5 with the main agenda being discussions of budget measures that remained unfinished for quite some time. However, on October 6, a highly anticipated hearing that does not have any direct relation to the budget measure will be the main focus. The hearing on Senate Bill 1256 will involve a discussion on the 29-page legislative proposal that outlines the benefits of expanding video gaming terminals.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of the bill is the proposed legalization of games of skill within the state’s borders. This bill’s backer Sen. Jake Corman has pointed out that it is the best way forward especially with regards to the regulation of gambling machines in the Keystone State. The goal is to ensure tight control and licensing over the proliferation of the very popular gaming machines.
According to Corman, the proposal is somehow a matter of fairness particularly because it aims to widely allow skill games across the state. Perhaps one of the most notable claims is that the move will raise revenues for the state – an exact amount has, however, not been specified.
One other thing that seems to be missing from the proposal is the taxation level that will be the gaming machines will need to pay. It goes without saying that this a very important aspect especially because it would make the lawmakers more willing to vote in favor of the bill. However, such a clause could be easily added or even be included as a key component of the discussion during the hearing that is scheduled to go down on October 6.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvanian authorities are under a lot of pressure to crack down on illegal gambling machines. The state has been trying really hard to cut down on the growing number of illegal gambling machines. This has, of course, been very challenging but there have periodic triumphs. Hopefully, the proposed legislation will clear things up further and help in drawing a line between legal and illegal operations.