The sports betting landscape in the Keystone State has been taking shape for quite some time now and so far, everything has been progressing very smoothly. The sector is very lucrative and many people are looking into tapping into its potential and one of the bodies that are looking into getting the most out of the industry is the state’s government. If the recent rumors are anything to go by, the revenue reaped from Pennsylvania’s sports betting industry could find a totally different new destination in the near future. Fortunately, the money will be headed towards an initiative that is expected to benefit all of the state’s residents.
According to a proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes’ Title 4 (Amusements), at least some portion of the tax revenue the state receives from sports betting should be channeled towards the provision of property tax relief for the residents of Pennsylvania. As it stands, House Bill 498, the bill was which was posted on January 3 and sponsored by Rep. Tina M. Davis, is headed to the House of Representatives for review.
The Current Situation
As per the terms of Act 42 of the states 2017 gambling expansion laws, the sports betting industry is subject to a loft 36 percent tax rate. 34 percent of the daily gross wagering revenue is channeled towards the state’s General Fund while the remaining 2 percent, otherwise referred to as a “local share assessment” is taken to the municipalities that host the sports betting operations. According to Rep. Tina Davis, the 34 percent bulk should be redirected to the rather self-explanatory Property Tax Relief Fund while the remaining 2 percent will remain “intact and unchanged”.
The prime motivation behind the proposed bill is the increased property taxes in the country, something that Rep. Davis addressed when she opened her memo to the House of Representatives. Her memo voiced her concerns over how homeowners in the state are subjected to rising property taxes which mostly affects the seniors who have fixed incomes and are already struggling to pay for food and medications.
“Given this difficult and challenging situation, it is incumbent upon us as concerned public officials to do everything we can to help provide much-needed property tax relief to our citizens,” she said.
In November 2018, the Hollywood Sportsbook became the very first regulated sports betting operation in the state of Pennsylvania and since then five more casinos have followed with more set to go live in 2019. So far, the revenue figures through December have been very impressive – the state has collected a whopping $905,595 in tax dollars. This implies that the property tax relief might just work as hoped.