“I think gaming expansion money in one form or another is necessary for this budget process to be complete,” spoke Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R). With Gov. Tom Wolf (D, right) having given way on sales-tax and income-tax increases, expanding gambling is one of the few remaining ways to close a budget shortfall. Accordingly, the House has voted to permit online betting, as well as slot routes in OTBs and airport lounges. Faced with a great hue and cry from the state’s casino industry, the House trimmed the legislation to remove a provision that would enable any bar in the state to house a slot route. So it’s a partial victory for the industry, especially if it can get to host online casinos. After the initial flurry of legislative victories in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, the Keystone State is the one where i-gaming has come closest to taking root. Almost every casino in Pennsylvania has lobbied for it, with the notable and predictable exception of Sands Bethlehem, an opponent.
Let’s not start counting the money yet. The House needs to vote a second time on Continue reading