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Another State Says Show Me The Money

Added: May 19, 2014

You might have expected this all along. When the state coffers are empty but the government employees and suppliers keep expecting to get paid you know the politicians look for ways to generate some fast cash. Not surprisingly, nowadays many such states are eyeballing online casinos and online gambling as a source of revenue.

The latest state to go down this path is none other than the state of Pennsylvania. This state has a huge hole to fill, as in a $1Billion dollar budget shortfall. Yes, that’s billion with a big ‘B’. It is unclear if Governor Tom Corbett’s budget shortfall is overly pessimistic or not. Either way, the state is hurting for money and the state legislators have vowed to take a serious look at online gambling.

In fact, the state senators retained a online gambling consultancy, Econsult to examine this issue in more depth. Econsult came back with a bit of promising news. Their report indicated that the addition of online casinos could bring in gambling revenue of $307 million.

The interesting thing about the Econsult report and the part that has state senators starting to get excited about discussing online casinos is that the $307Million is additional gambling revenue. Econsult made a clear case that setting up online casinos would not siphon money away from the state’s existing land based casinos. Instead they reported that, by utilizing the existing land based casinos and allowing them and them only to offer online gambling, the gambling market within the state of Pennsylvania would actually expand.

Econsult explained it this way: the online casino attracts a different sort of casino player. The person interested in gambling in an online casino is typically younger. Also, the size of the minimum bets in an online casino are much lower than those in land based casinos. There was no clear indication whether or not these two factors are related or not. However, the report went on to conclude that online casinos would attract an entirely new customer base.

Expanding the gambling base, generating more revenue for the state’s coffers, what’s not to like? Obviously, the state needs to fix the budget issues. At the same time, Pennsylvania could very well benefit from the growing trend of online casinos. Even the financial behemoth Morgan Stanley is forecasting the online gambling market to be worth $8 billion by the year 2020.