Skill Games Proposed for Pennsylvania’s Upcoming Budget

by Lara
Published 20/02/2024

As it is, the current law on Skill Games of Pennsylvania operates within a grey area. This means that skill games such as Blackjack or Poker, where the player’s skill significantly influences the winning outcome, lack a clear legal framework that officially recognizes them as permissible within the jurisdiction.

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Skill Games: The Legal Battle in PA

For years, there has been an ongoing debate about the legality of playing skill games in Pennsylvania. The affected stakeholders have continuously emphasized the games’ unique entertainment value and positive economic impact on local businesses.

On the other hand, opponents of legalizing skill games express concerns about such a legal framework that can negatively affect land-based casinos.

Skills Game Taxation Proposed

During the budget presentation for 2024/2025, Pennsylvania’s Governor Josh Shapiro included estimated profits earned from taxing skill games if the latter’s legislation is implemented.

The budget proposes that a 42% tax rate for Skill Games would be charged on the gross revenue through the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). These taxes would then be ultimately transferred to the state’s General Fund.

Going Forward

Recently, a recent court decision recognized winnings from Skill Games in Pennsylvania as legal. This was one clear landmark when it came to Skill Games’ recognition in this state. The Governor’s proposal shows yet another new milestone regarding skill games in Pennsylvania.

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