hat are the main points of House Bill 1197?
HB 1197 essentially codifies the ability for Pennsylvania Casinos to host Fantasy Sports Tournaments.
Pennsylvania's casino industry has suffered its second straight year of declining revenue, and concerns on increased competition have grown. Do you believe new legislation will be an effective way to increase gaming winnings again?
Yes. Pa casinos have lost revenues due to increased competition. New legislation will help them remain competitive in a highly competitive arena. There are several different bills we are considering in addition to Fantasy Sports there is also a major focus on Internet Gaming.
How will this boost Pennsylvania's economy?
My bill is a very small piece of the bigger puzzle in helping our casinos remain competitive. It is meant to provide an additional entertainment product for our casinos patrons. The effect on our economy from my bill is negligible. However combined with other initiatives like the aforementioned internet gaming act there could be a boost in revenues for the state.
Attracting younger audiences has been one of the hardest challenges within the gambling industry, how will House Bill 1197 help operators gain new customers?
The major challenge many of our casinos face is how to attract younger patrons (millennials). HB 1197 was designed solely for that purpose. Fantasy sports leagues are prevalent throughout the country, with millions of people participating in various leagues. Under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 participation and hosting of fantasy sports is considered legal. Websites like Fanduel have been very successful. My legislation will allow our casinos to have codified rules and regulations to host these tournaments themselves. Hopefully there availability in our casinos will attract new customers and provide and additional attraction to partake in.
Why is this Bill necessary? Is it time the old style gaming makes way for new ideas?
I believe every industry has to constantly challenge the way they do business. In casinos it always seems that new is good. When you go to a Pa casino and observe you can always see crowds at the “new slot” machine areas, while the crowd is always thinner elsewhere. Many of the fantasy sports websites cater predominately to our younger more technologically savvy patrons. My bill was designed to challenge the paradigms of gaming that have been in place for years, fresh and new is good.