PA Mobile, Online Delays Costing Millions
Delays in implementing online and mobile sports betting in Pennsylvania are costing the industry millions, particularly considering its high taxes and fees.
Pennsylvania’s fledgling sports betting program is leaving millions in tax revenue “on the floor” by delaying implementation of online and mobile sports wagering, according to a report on the PennBets news site.
In New Jersey, where around 80 percent of sports wagers are mobile, sports betting revenue was $31.7 million last year, with $3.7 million to the state. In Pennsylvania, which has a larger population than New Jersey, the report notes that same $31.7 million would have yielded $10.8 million to the state, thanks to a 34 percent revenue tax.
That doesn’t even take into account the $10 million fee paid by licensees in Pennsylvania to offer sports betting.
Gaming board spokesman Doug Harbach acknowledged to PennBets that regulatory progress on mobile sports betting slowed after the U.S. Department of Justice reversed its former opinion on the 1962 Wire Act, declaring it does, in fact, apply to sports betting over the internet.
“We had bricks-and-mortar up in six months following the court decision,” Harbach said. “I don’t consider that slow. As for mobile, there is no doubt that the DOJ Wire Act interpretation announcement (in January) may have slowed things a bit, but our jurisdiction wanted to make sure we got this right above doing it fast.”