The coalition contests that the state Department of Revenue, which oversees the state lottery, launched the iLottery in May with online games that “imitate the look, sound and feel of slot machines.” Several of the online games available through the lottery also have the same titles and/or themes as slot machines offered on Pennsylvania casino floors, and they are available to residents as young as 18.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania casinos are required to limit casino access to people over the age of 21. Casino operators also must pay $10 million license fees to offer online casino games, plus they will pay high tax rates of 54 percent and 16 percent, respectively, for online slot machines and table games.
The seven casinos, including Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, say the online lottery will limit casino revenue, which will mean less tax revenue for the state and less funding for communities that host casinos.
“Any loss in casino revenue will hurt Pennsylvania’s tax collection for property tax relief and local improvement projects funded by gaming tax dollars,” coalition spokesman David La Torre said.
A Pennsylvania Lottery spokesman said officials have not had an opportunity to review the lawsuit.
In July, nine Pennsylvania casinos applied for online gaming licenses. Three of those operators were approved for online gaming last week.
Read the casinos’ lawsuit here:
ILottery Petition for Review on Scribd