House Sends Ortitay’s Gaming Bill to Governor
HARRISBURG – The House today sent Rep. Jason Ortitay’s (R-Washington/Allegheny) gaming legislation to the governor to finish funding the Fiscal Year 2017-18 state budget process.

House Bill 271 would generate $239 million in the current budget year and $100 million in recurring revenue in future budget years. In addition, it would provide $25 million annually in further money for important lottery programs that help older Pennsylvanians and create more property tax relief to be distributed through the Property Tax Relief Fund.

“I’m pleased we were able to finalize the budget without any broad-based tax increases on hard-working Pennsylvanians,” Ortitay said. “While my initial bill did not generate any revenue, but instead streamlined the Commonwealth’s problem gaming assistance telephone number, the final version expand gaming in a way that has been sought by many since the original casino law was passed in 2004. The bill also addresses the Local Share Assessment (LSA) struck down by the court last year. This LSA money directs important funds to counties that host casinos.”

The bill would legalize iGaming, creates 10 satellite slot machine locations, permits video game terminals (VGTs) at truck stops and regulates fantasy sports betting.

Under the legislation, any licensed casino in the nation would be permitted to receive an iGaming license, which would allow Pennsylvania residents to play casino-style gaming on websites and mobile applications. The casino also could then use the license to partner with a publicly owned commercial airport in the state to put iGaming tablets in the airports. Pennsylvania would become the fourth state to allow online casino gambling. The Pennsylvania Lottery also would be allowed to offer online games as long as they were not casino-style. Four other states already allow their lotteries to do this.

Second, the bill allows each of the current 10 major casinos to bid to open a satellite casino. These smaller sites can host between 300 and 750 slot machines and up to 30 table games. After a year, the number of table games can increase by 10. If the licenses are not all auctioned, resort casinos can bid on the licenses. If licenses still remain, only entities that meet the Gaming Control Board’s requirements may bid.

Third, the bill would allow truck stops to install VGTs. In order to purchase a VGT license, the truck stop must have at least 20 parking spaces dedicated to commercial vehicles, have sold at least 50,000 gallons of diesel fuel in the prior year, have a convenience store and occupy at least three acres of land. Five VGTs are permitted per truck stop.

Finally, the bill would regulate and tax fantasy sports betting in the Commonwealth. This would bring accountability to illegal gambling currently occurring and ensure only those age 18 and older are participating.

The governor has 10 days to act on the measure once it reaches his desk.

The 46th Legislative District includes Collier and South Fayette townships and Bridgeville, Heidelberg, McDonald and Oakdale boroughs in Allegheny County. It also encompasses Canton, Cecil, Mt. Pleasant, Robinson and Smith townships and Burgettstown, McDonald and Midway boroughs in Washington County.

Representative Jason Ortitay
46th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Tracy Polovick
717.260.6358 /

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