A Pennsylvania house panel is eyeing legalizing video gambling terminals (VGTs) in bars and other businesses to help fill the state’s budget deficit.
WITF reported that the House Gaming Oversight Committee has started its deliberation on whether to pass House Bill 1010, which would allow up to 35,000 terminals in bars, social clubs, and other such businesses.
The bill, according to its proponents, will plug financial budget gaps since the legalized VGTs will reap the state $100 million in its first year, and $500 million annually once it’s fully implemented.
“Instead of turning a blind eye to an illegal industry that’s going on in the state of Pennsylvania…this really does clean it up for everyone, and lets everyone play on a level playing field,” said Democratic Representative Mike Sturla of Lancaster County – one of the bill’s biggest proponents – according to the news report.
Bill sponsor Representative Mark Mustio (R-Allegheny County) rejected the claim of VGT opponents that the gambling terminals will cannibalize traditional casinos.
“Some have said over the years that we’re partners with the casinos,” he said. “You know, I personally disagree with that. In my opinion, we’re partners with our constituents.”
Pennsylvania’s controversial VGT debate resurfaced last month after a bipartisan group of state senators and representatives announced a new entry into the state’s burgeoning field of gambling expansion bills.
Arkansas House fails to Override Gambling Enforcement Law Veto
It’s final: the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) may still enforce the state gambling laws.
The Associated Press reported that the enforcement power of the ABC remains intact after the Arkansas Senate failed to override the veto of Governor Asa Hutchinson on Senate Bill 496.
The bill, authored by State Sen. Scott Flippo, would have prevented the ABC from enforcing laws relating to gambling.
Flippo tried to gather votes to override the veto but he only got 15 senators to support his cause – three less than the number needed to pass.