Pennsylvania online casinos will soon add a new form of sports betting to their (already vast) portfolio – esports. State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Philadelphia, is in the process of moving HB 733 through the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
Neilson found allies and is willing to change the state’s gambling regulations by introducing esports.
For now, no meetings are scheduled in the House Gaming Oversight Committee for the bill to move on.
What is esports and what does the Pennsylvania esports bill include?
“Esports” is short for electronic sports. The activity comes in the form of a video game competition. Usually organized among multiple video game players, the competition gathers professional players who compete individually or in teams.
The HB733 defines esports as:
“A competition involving video games in which players who are 18 years of age or older compete against each other and the dominant element determining the results is the relative skill of the players.”
This esports betting bill would allow Pennsylvanian players to bet on esports events. The Keystone State proposes a 36% tax rate, but that could be subject to change along the legislation process.
Bettors must be 21 to bet on an esports event, while the event participants must be 18 years old.
Pennsylvania’s legislative session is an ongoing process
Pennsylvania esports bill was previously discussed on Jan. 27. That is when Neilson sent a memo to his colleagues. He asked the House members to consider the matter.
At the time, he made a few key arguments for the general idea of introducing esports:
- Pennsylvania’s neighboring states allow esports betting
- The esports industry’s estimated value in 2022 was $1.1 billion and could exceed $5 billion by 2029
- A multi-million-dollar esports-dedicated facility (Fusion Arena) is being built in Philadelphia and could host a range of tournaments
Neilson also said he was looking for co-sponsors for the bill he was about to submit. Two months later, he found support. According to Bonus.com, here’s who will be joining Neilson in introducing HB 733:
- Jose Giral, D-Philadelphia
- Stephen Kinsey, D-Philadelphia
- Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery County
- Barry J. Jozwiak, R-Berks County