2017 is still young, but there is still some important news coming out of the online casino world. This week, we'll focus on Pennsylvania's push to legalize online gaming in 2017 while looking back at the successful year a couple of the biggest online casinos had in 2016.
Pennsylvania Again Evaluates Online Gaming
It looks like the state of Pennsylvania is going to look into the legislation of online casino games, which they've tried to do a few times over the last few years. State Senator Jay Costa is going to go off the online gaming bill that was passed in the House in 2016 to see if he can finally get this bill approved.
Pennsylvania had a decent year - by its standards - in regards to the commercial casino industry. Pennsylvania ranks second only to Nevada in the country in that realm. However, Senator Costa feels as though they can increase their revenue by being even more welcoming to players and this would be a good way to do so. This plan would allow all of Pennsylvania's 12 casinos to offer online gaming in addition to the land-based gaming they currently provide. If the casinos are interested, they would have to pay a licensing fee of around $10 million. Vendors that have a contract with these casinos could also offer their software and host the platform off which these online casinos would run. In that case, they would have to pay a licensing fee of $5 million.
Interestingly enough, this would also include daily fantasy sports, which had been getting more popular by the day until it became mired in legal battles last year. In their case, they would be allowed to operate as long as they agreed to a licensing fee of $2.5 million.
On top of the licensing fees, Pennsylvania would institute a revenue tax of 25% for these casinos, which would motivate them to bring in more customers. Pennsylvania is already bringing in an estimated $300 million every year and the state is trying to figure out how they can get their hands on more of that action. If they can pass this bill, this would go a long way towards the legalization of online gaming around the country. A number of states have been moving in that direction but few have actually followed through to make it fully legal.
2016 Was a Strong Year For Online Casinos
It turns out that 2016 was a great year for everyone in the online casino industry. Reports have been released from two of the leading companies in the industry: BETAT and Slotty Vegas Casino. The numbers show that BETAT doled out about $2 million in bonuses to their players over the year and Slotty Vegas Casino said that they gave out just over $2.1 million in bonuses.
Because their bonuses were so good, that means players were visiting the online casinos. BETAT said that they had over 3.5 million visitors while Slotty Vegas reported over 4.4 million. This works out for everyone because if players see that the casinos are giving out great bonuses, they're happy and they'll keep coming back. For online casinos, the odds are in their favor, so if the players are playing steadily, they're going to be making much more than they are giving out in bonuses.