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WV Lottery officials keeping eye on PA internet gambling bill

Jul 12, 2016, 11:06 pm

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West Virginia LotteryWest Virginia Lottery: WV Lottery officials keeping eye on PA internet gambling billRating:

West Virginia Lottery officials are closely monitoring legislation making its way through the Pennsylvania General Assembly that would significantly expand legalized gambling in that state.

"Those guys are aggressive, I'll just say that," acting lottery director John Myers said Tuesday of the legislation, which would make Pennsylvania the fourth state to legalize internet gambling, would allow state casinos to operate satellite locations with up to 250 slot machines each and would allow slot machines in airport terminals.

The bill passed the House of Representatives on June 28, on a 114-85 vote, and is pending in the Senate.

"Since that's happened, I haven't had a meeting with any of the commissioners to talk about our options," Myers said. "There are certainly things we need to consider going forward. To stay competitive, we'll have to consider these, as well."

The proposed gambling expansion is projected to produce $400 million a year in new revenue for Pennsylvania, and is part of a plan to close a $1.3 billion funding gap in that state's 2016-17 budget. The remaining $900 million a year would be funded through a proposed $1-a-pack increase in the state's cigarette tax, raising the tax to $2.60 a pack.

"They're evidently having the same kind of budget problems that we just had," West Virginia Racing and Gaming Association President John Cavacini said Tuesday of Pennsylvania's budget shortfall, referring to the West Virginia budget impasse that ended when the Legislature passed a tobacco tax hike.

For the West Virginia Lottery, expansion of gambling in Pennsylvania would be the latest competitive threat from a border state, Myers noted.

"We're surrounded by competition," he said.

Cavacini said it is important that West Virginia be prepared to respond to new competition.

"I don't think it's too early to be concerned," he said. "We, basically, started this gaming concept 22 years ago, and the other states have followed us. As a state, we've always been on the forefront of gaming issues."

Having enjoyed a regional monopoly in racetrack casinos from the 1990s to the mid-2000s, the West Virginia Lottery has since seen revenue drop each year, as dozens of new casinos have opened in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland.

In December, the $1.2 billion MGM National Harbor casino resort, east of Washington, D.C., will become the latest threat to West Virginia Lottery revenue. Myers said projections are that the casino will reduce revenue at the Hollywood Casino, in Charles Town — the state's largest and most-profitable casino — by 15 percent to 25 percent.

Myers said the Lottery Commission will need to consider ways to compete, if Pennsylvania expands gambling. He noted that the Lottery Commission and the Racing Commission have talked about internet gaming in the past.

He said existing law probably would allow the Lottery to sell tickets for drawings over the internet, but permitting wagering on races via computer or smartphone, or wagering on interactive gaming, would require passage of new legislation.

If there is movement to legalize internet gaming in the state, Myers said he believes the best option would be to let the casinos operate the games, with the government regulating and taxing them, as currently takes place with traditional video lottery and table games at the casinos.

"I think that's definitely the way to go with it, although I think we'd need to have the law changed to do that here," he said.

Cavacini said it is critical that West Virginia be prepared to act, if and when Pennsylvania expands into internet gaming and other new gaming options.

"I'm sure, as soon as Pennsylvania does it, the other states are also going to," he said.

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7 comments. Last comment 4 years ago by ressuccess.
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Raven62's avatar - binary
25
New Jersey
United States
Member #17842
June 28, 2005
130501 Posts
Offline

They seem to be following the herd rather than leading the way.

A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

    Avatar
    Simpsonville
    United States
    Member #163184
    January 22, 2015
    2263 Posts
    Offline

    Since I'm a shareholder in both IGT and Konami, I would love it if Progressive slot machines were hooked up nationwide.  Think of how high those jackpots would get; enjoy watching the jackpot meter grow as play.  ...then my stocks would increase in value too.

      music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
      USN United States Navy
      Fresno, California
      United States
      Member #157851
      August 2, 2014
      3959 Posts
      Offline

      We must remember the gambling addicts. Sometimes a person needs help and cannot do it alone.Shocked

       "We are all in this together!" 

        Avatar
        Chasing $ Millions.
        White Shores- California
        United States
        Member #136473
        December 12, 2012
        6314 Posts
        Offline

        We must remember the gambling addicts. Sometimes a person needs help and cannot do it alone.Shocked

        Knew an person once who told me that he had been addicted to gambling for years and got it licked- l asked how. He said its simple, you get out the same way you got in: You stop- period. I said that easier said than done..and he said treat your addiction like coming to a stoplight. Your mind & eyes tell you to stop or you freaking dead. He said you make that choice without hesitation on a daily basis. I laughed, but realized that he had a point.

        Music- How did you arrive at $131 mil take home after all taxes for the PB? Working off  the Usamega chart l see it at $141 mil.

         * Voice of Reason *   

         

        People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

          music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
          USN United States Navy
          Fresno, California
          United States
          Member #157851
          August 2, 2014
          3959 Posts
          Offline

          noise-gate, I have heard on the rumour mill that the amount will be close to $140 mil. like you quoted.

           I also use USAMEGA to correctly get the C.V. amount after subtracting the 25%. Then this next step is a bit of assumption when I use the Cash Value amount before subtracting the 25% and multiply it by 14.6%  to subtract that result from the amount I got from USAMEGA after subtracting the 25%.

           Understand? The Cash Value amount will be less 25% then it will be less 14.6%. 

           Of course, I will hire an accountant, enrolled agent,CPA, or a Tax Attorney to do these calculations for me. 

          Any way you slice it, it  still is an unbelievable amount of cash. Enjoy it!

           "We are all in this together!" 

            music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
            USN United States Navy
            Fresno, California
            United States
            Member #157851
            August 2, 2014
            3959 Posts
            Offline

            noise-gate, Your friend is a lighthouse warning us of the rocks ahead.

             "We are all in this together!" 

              ressuccess's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg

              United States
              Member #93160
              June 23, 2010
              3141 Posts
              Offline

              That would be a great idea if the bill passes for the state of West Virginia.

              I hope that one $2 ticket is the only one that matches all 5 numbers plus the PB to win the largest PB jackpot in United States history of over $2 Billion Dollars! I hope that one $2 ticket is the only one that matches all 5 numbers plus the Mega Ball to win the largest Mega Millions jackpot in United States history of over $2 Billion Dollars!