PA State Rep: Pennsylvania is Ahead of Most States to Allow Sports Betting

Tax Rate Will Stay at 36%

The Dom Giordano Program
May 15, 2018 - 1:05 pm

© Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Pennsylvania State Representative, Robert Matzie (D-16th District), joined the Dom Giordano Program on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT discussing the future of sports gambling in Pennsylvania after the Supreme Court ruled that it was a State right to allow the activity.

“The reality of the situation is often times, in the legislative process, putting the cart before the horse is a bad thing. In this case, we did put the cart before the horse and it’s a good thing because the language is in place and it puts us in a unique position to get rolling on doing something to get sports betting in the casinos sooner rather than later. I think one of the concerns probably for the States that did not do this is you will see an avalanche of lobbyists descending on State Capitals to try and institute language that they would like. Specifically from the professional sports franchises, they want a cut quite frankly. “

Under the law in Pennsylvania that was signed by Wolf in 2017 it includes a tax rate of 36%. Matzie explained that rate would not change now that this law can be enacted.

“It is what it is and I think really the folks, the sports teams as well as the books, the casinos were complaining when it did pass [at first] they were saying it was too high but now you’re seeing quotes from some casinos that can’t wait to get started. This is in-between the take we get from table games and what get on slots. My original language was lower quite frankly but when we looked at adding “iGaming” and the ability for folks to actually place a sports bet on their tablet at home, it made sense to increase.”

Giordano pressed Matzie on if this would bring on any tax relief for Pennsylvania residents.

“This money would go into the general fund. This is not anything that would go into the homestead exemption like it does for the slots. So, you could make the argument that yes, you wouldn’t have a triple down tax increase from a real estate perspective potentially. If the folks in Harrisburg, like myself, and the General Assembly are able to do the right thing but right now the way it is structured is it goes directly into the general fund.”