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Report estimates impact of Internet gaming in Pa.

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A report released Wednesday by Pennsylvania’s Legislature shows Internet gaming could generate just over $300 million in revenue, if legalized.

The report estimates in year one, legalization of Internet gaming (or iGaming) would generate about $68 million in direct tax revenue and $113 million per year after that.

To read the full report or the highlights, click here.

The report, “The Current Condition and Future Viability of Casino Gaming in Pennsylvania,” was commissioned in December and completed by Econsult Solutions.

The report looks at tax revenues of existing casinos, competition stemming from the expansion of gaming in neighboring states and competition among casinos within Pennsylvania.

Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have legalized online gambling.

State Sen. Kim Ward (R-39th) said she plans to hold a hearing on the report’s contents in early June.

The report was released as state lawmakers grapple with how to handle a potential $1 billion shortfall in this fiscal year’s budget.

Supporters of Internet gaming say it would be one way to offset a potential shortfall in future years.

“People are playing all types of games on the Internet right now. And, that’s the wave of the future. Younger people are involved,” said state Rep. Tina Davis (D-141st).

However, opponents of the measure cite the potential for increased cases of gambling addiction.

“Even adults who are prone to gambling addiction, the last thing they need is to be able to do it in seclusion and do it in the work place,” said Tom Shaheen, vice president for public policy with Pa. Family Institute. His group is also part of the national Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.

Though Internet gaming has not been legalized in Pennsylvania, there are no punishments on the books for those who partake.



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