HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor says gambling expansion legislation he just signed won’t cannibalize existing tax collections from the industry.
Gov. Tom Wolf also said Monday that the state needed revenue to help prop up its operating budget and that there was pressure to expand gambling.
The bill makes Pennsylvania the fourth state to allow online gambling while letting the struggling state lottery take its games online. It also lets Pennsylvania’s 10 largest casinos bid on licenses to operate new, smaller casinos.
The gambling proposal passed last week in the Republican-controlled Legislature. It aims to produce about $200 million annually from casino license fees and taxes on higher gambling losses.
Pennsylvania casinos rake in more gross revenues than any other state except Nevada. Pennsylvania is the No. 1 state in tax revenue from the casino industry, netting $1.4 billion in the most recent fiscal year.