Gambling industry in Pennsylvania may soon have a different look as lawmakers try to make 2017 a year in which the public is set to benefit from the many casinos that have been established in the region.
This emerged when Senator Kim Ward asked all the 12 casinos from the state to converge at Harrisburg, where the officials will hold a meeting that is aimed at discussing issues, which will streamline the casino industry in Pennsylvania.
The meeting will be held on January 3, 2017, the exact date lawmakers will take an oath that would see them in office for 24 months.
The senator stressed that if there is anything legislators can do for the state’s gambling, the time is now.
“Gone are the days in which legislators would do nothing. At this point, we need to do something for our casinos,” Kim stated.
American Gaming Association, the agency mandated for all gambling issues reports that in just 10 years, casinos is Pennsylvania have recorded massive growth, surpassing other industry that has been present for a long time. The association says, “The commercial casino industry in Pennsylvania has taken position 2 in the consumer spending, but it’s number 1 in the collection of revenue.”
It is expected that lawmakers will discuss the September ruling by the High Court, which directed that it was unconstitutional for casinos to continue paying a $10 million fee as tax to their municipalities.
According to the High Court’s ruling, the state imposed an unconstitutional levy, which lay a shouldering burden to casinos whose yearly collection did not attain the required mark. In effect, the court then directed that lawmakers amend the law to fill the gap.
Initial deliberations by the house did not bear any fruit, with a section sighting that the ruling came at a wrong time. Senator Kim maintains that they have to find a solution in order to save the state.
A month after the court ruling, lawmakers tried to put in place a six-month strategy that was termed as a temporal relief. However, the bill, did not mature because an attorney representing Mount Airy threatened to go back to court because the new law had the same constitutional violation.
Although a section of casinos has consented to continue paying the $10 million year fee, the passing of the new law would still be a challenge because a group of lawmakers especially from areas where there are no casinos feels their demands are not met.
Whether January 3, the meeting will hold any water or not, mid-April is a key date to watch. This is a time when casinos are expected to pay quarterly payment to their respective municipalities.
Even as the state struggles to enact rules that conform to the Federal Law, some legislators are lobbying for slot machine gambling legalization to help raise revenue for the state.
Michael Sturla, one of the members who lobby for the legislation says that the legalization of slot machine gambling will create millions of dollars, in fact, a lot of money to the state.