Massive Pennsylvania Gambling Expansion Bill Passed by State House, Although Not Without Debate


Massive Pennsylvania Gambling Expansion Bill Passed by State House, Although Not Without Debate

Pennsylvania gambling expansion is a huge focal point in Harrisburg for more than a year, but late Wednesday night, the state’s home of Representatives finally took action on the matter. The manner in which they did so, but, is being criticized by some lawmakers.

A 675-page Pennsylvania gambling expansion bill took just hours to help make its way through the House of Representatives, causing some legislators to bristle at its fast passage.

Morning, House Bill 271 was introduced by State Rep. Jason Ortitay (Allegheny County) and co-sponsored by six other Republicans and one Democrat yesterday.

The measure seeks to significantly expand gambling in the Keystone State. HB 271 would place slot machines in airports and bars, authorize online casinos and day-to-day fantasy sports (DFS), allow the lottery to sell internet instant tickets, and create sports betting laws in anticipation of any change to the existing federal ban.

The all-encompassing piece of legislation would leave no already legal gambling option unaddressed, as far as where it can happen at almost 700 pages. It’s no read that is easy but simply hours after its introduction, Republican House majority leaders ushered it in for the vote.

In the end, it passed narrowly, by a count of 102-89, with support blended across party lines.

‘ If you’ve all had the opportunity to read it, I don’t know how you made it happen,’ was the observation that is wry Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery).

Pay So They Can Play

Ortitay’s bill would allow any establishment holding a liquor permit to accommodate slot devices. Each bar, hotel, restaurant, or club that is fraternal be allowed to have as much as five gaming terminals, with vehicle stops being permitted ten. Off-track parlors that are betting encompass 250 slots for the fee of $5 million.

The state’s 12 licensed land-based casinos is able to offer gambling that is online but should be willing to shell out $8 million per site. Nevada Sands billionaire Sheldon Adelson, whose business owns Sands Bethlehem, is spending $1 million on an aggressive marketing campaign opposing internet gambling in hawaii.

Pennsylvania’s robust state-run lottery, which sold over $4 billion worth of tickets in 2016, would also move more of its operations to the internet. Online lottery games, and instant and raffle tickets, would expand their offerings.

Airports terminals could be able to offer slots to people, recreations betting would be considered legal (if Congress ever overturns the federal ban), and DFS operators could be online after paying a $50,000 cost to Pennsylvania.

Local Share Income Tax

Perhaps most of all, HB 271 addresses the ongoing problem with the state’s casino neighborhood share evaluation. That rule requires each venue to pay its host municipality $10 million annually. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared the tax unconstitutional, as it ruled the $10 million re payment, or two percent of gross slot machine income, whichever is greater, violated uniformity law.

Under Ortitay’s bill, the state’s biggest casinos, Sands Bethlehem and Parx, would be needed to spend two percent of gross slot revenue to the host county, and a flat $10 million towards the host municipality. Resorts with reduced income pulls would pay simply the two percent tariff.

Resolving the local share taxation is possibly the main reason Republican leaders rushed HB 271 to a vote on Wednesday, as it provides critical funds to regional governments.

It’s not clear whether the higher chamber will help the Pennsylvania that is enormous gambling bill, or if Governor Tom Wolf (D) would even signal it, should it achieve his desk.

The Keystone State needs money to cover down its pension that is burgeoning debt. Putting slot machines in bars and restaurants across from schools and churches is the answer, at the very least according to people who voted to accept the measure on Wednesday.

Rhode Island Casino Workers Vote to Strike, Walkout Could Commence Friday

Rhode Island casino workers are threatening to walk off the job at Twin River in Lincoln unless their healthcare advantages are restored to past levels.

The UNITE HERE Local 26 union is demanding better healthcare advantages, but the Rhode Island casino at the guts regarding the debate doesn’t seem to be ready to budge. (Image: Mark Reynolds/The Providence Journal)

UNITE HERE Local 26, the Boston-based chapter associated with national union that represents workers in hospitality industries, claims Twin River Management slashed healthcare benefits for its members without the collective bargaining procedure.

The result, the coalition claims, costs employees hundreds of bucks an in additional coverage costs week.

This week by a count of 327-5 after threatening a strike last month, and a public protest held on the steps of the Rhode Island State House, Local 26 voted overwhelmingly in favor of a walkout. ‘Twin River developed a crisis for our families, and should they’re seriously interested in fixing it, we are going to satisfy day and evening to get this done,’ union rep Julie Procaccini told The Providence Journal.

The union employees are in the beverage and food, and hospitality divisions, and does not encompass casino dealers.

Property Hiring

Twin River Management, which also owns Rhode Island’s other casino, the Newport Grand, in addition to the tough Rock Hotel and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, does not seem overly concerned utilizing the strike threat from UNITE HERE.

Regional 26 has offered the organization a 4 am Friday morning due date to achieve a brand new benefits deal, otherwise employees will leave their positions.

Twin River spokeswoman Patti Doyle said she had no touch upon the strike action, but added, ‘We have actually immediate openings, and offer wages that are highly competitive advantages.’

The casino additionally added that should a strike occur, Twin River will remain open for company, and meals and beverage solution won’t be interrupted.

A Facebook post by Twin River links to its work board. Nearly all the listings are roles that would fall beneath the regional 26 union, including bartenders and cocktail servers, wait staff, dishwashers, hosts, cooks, and banquet positions.

Casino Strike Union?

Twin River’s hiring spree might declare that the casino is seeking to rid its Local 26 affiliation and become a property that is non-union.

Though labor teams have now been blamed for hampering profitability in Atlantic City, billionaire Carl Icahn’s public feud with UNITE HERE the most up-to-date example, that isn’t the case at the Rhode Island casino. Twin River is actually producing record profits, making a $20 million stock buyback last fall, much to the pleasure of shareholders.

But competition is closing in on America’s smallest state, as Massachusetts’ casino resorts near completion.

The Plainridge Park slots parlor is just miles north regarding the Rhode Island-Massachusetts border. And the $2 billion Wynn Boston Harbor, some 50 miles away, is on scheduled to open in 2019.

Twin River convinced Rhode Island to let it build a casino that is third Tiverton in order to keep gaming bucks in the state. Currently under construction, the house is scheduled to open in of 2018 july.

Though times are robust for Twin River at the moment, it may be looking to reduce its overhead to higher position its company within the years ahead. Unfortunately for union people, that might come at their price.

Bad Actor Clause Threatens to Stymie Online Poker Legislation in New York

Ny state Sen. John Bonacic’s bill to legalize online poker bill was amended this week to include a bad actor clause. To some this seemed way to really make the bill more passable, while some see the amendment as being a poison capsule.

The Senate has tweaked Sen. John Bonacic’s internet poker bill to include bad actor language that could produce the kind of stalemate that has crippled online poker’s opportunities in California. (Image:

Senate Bill 3898 seeks to legalize poker that is online New York by declaring it a game of skill. The legislation specifically highlights Texas hold’em and Omaha as skill-based variations of poker that should be exempt from certain gambling restrictions.

A statement from the Senator’s workplace said the point of the bad-actor amendment had been ‘to provide the Gaming Commission with the opportunity to simply take under consideration an applicant’s previous bad functions in relation to determining suitability for a license.’

The statement added that Bonacic was still committed to moving the bill forward, and that the senator was ‘looking forward to using their peers into the Senate and Assembly to do this.’

PokerStars Penalty

The expression ‘bad actor’ refers to operators that continued to serve real-money players in the United States after enactment of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (2006).

Such language would exclude PokerStars from pursuing licensure in nyc, unless the Gaming Commission were to accept the premise that Amaya’s 2014 purchase associated with brand had wiped the slate clean. That’s what worked for Stars in New Jersey, the only American state where the Canada-based business has gotten a license.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement granted PokerStars a license, but only on the provision that Amaya fire several PokerStars and Full Tilt execs who were deemed too near to the guard that is old regulatory comfort.

Amaya is a strong lobbying force behind brand New York’s online poker efforts, and could be unlikely to support the bill in this kind. In addition to not having the ability to be licensed themselves, the wording that is current Amaya from entering commercial partnerships with prospective stakeholders in a future New York online poker market.

California Tribe in Nj-new Jersey

Meanwhile, across the bridge in New Jersey, a new internet poker operator has jumped in to the internet gaming fray. Pala Interactive, founded by the Pala Band of Mission Indians of north park County, Calif., launched this week in the New Jersey market.

Pala debuted in nj in belated 2014 and had been likely to follow along with its poker that is online offering early 2015. Those plans had been put on hold because, according to CEO Jim Ryan, formerly CEO of, his brand new business expected PokerStars to enter industry imminently. Under such conditions he thought Pala would struggle to compete for liquidity.

‘Casino Chip Forger’ Toh Hock Thiam Gets Seven Years in Singapore Prison

The mastermind behind a casino chip counterfeiting operation that bilked the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore away from HK$1.29 million ($165,500) ended up being sentenced to seven years in australian online casino real money jail on Wednesday (June 7).

Toh Hock Thiam is driven to a Singapore court in handcuffs. He used a network of runners to cash in HK$1.29 million in highly sophisticated fake chips at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. (Image: Wong Kwai Chau/Singapore Straits Days)

The court heard how Toh Hock Thiam, 54, recruited two accomplices, Seow Piak Long, 65, and Chia Wei Tien, 48, to distribute fake HK$1,000 chips to dozens of runners, whom would ultimately trade them during the casino for money over a period that is 24-hour November 2015.

Runners were instructed to exchange that is first counterfeit chips for genuine ones of smaller denominations, before mixing the real chips with additional fake ones and then trading the stack for cash at the casino cage.

The money would be delivered to then Seow and Chia, who would reward the runners for their efforts.

Most Realistic Fakes Ever Seen in Singapore

Singapore’s Casino Regulatory Authority told the court that the chips were the ‘best quality’ and most fakes that are realistic had ever seen. Nonetheless they were spotted seven days later by an observant casino employee whom spotted a slight discoloration in one of many 1,291 phony chips the team had successfully passed down.

On closer inspection, the fake ones were discovered to lack a certain security feature, which had not been divulged in court filings. Modern casino chips have actually numerous such features, which make them deliberately difficult to reproduce, which means that Toh’s must have been advanced sufficient to fool all but the deepest level of scrutiny.

All casinos have a set that is unique of, with a unique group of safety aspects, from high photographic-quality design that makes them difficult to forge, to chips within potato chips; micro-chips that enable radio-frequency identification (RFID).

Thirteen Counts of Conspiracy

Toh was found guilty of 13 counts of doing a conspiracy to change the fake casino potato chips at the Marina Bay Sands for cash following his trial last month.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Asoka Markandu said it absolutely was proven that Toh was directly responsible for 420 for the rogue chips, but argued he must certanly be indirectly held accountable for all your casino’s losings, since it might be inferred he had been either the master forger or somebody employed by him directly.

‘As the cash that is counterfeit were the same, an inference could be drawn that Toh was either mixed up in manufacture and distribution of all the counterfeit cash chips, or he had liaised with an unknown syndicate member whom had manufactured and delivered the fake cash potato chips to him as well as others included in the scam,’ said Markandu.

After the discovery of the scam, Toh fled to Malaysia, where he ended up being acquired by authorities and extradited.

Las Vegas Club and Mermaid Set to Reopen, But Only for Eight Hours

The shuttered Las Vegas Club and Mermaid casinos situated on the Fremont Street Experience are planned to reopen later this albeit only for eight hours each month.

Vegas Vickie is coming down from her perch to make way for renovation at the nevada Club. Her ‘married’ husband, Vegas Vic, looks on across Fremont Street. (Image: David Guzman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Those in search of nostalgia in Downtown Las Vegas can visit the video gaming floors and test their luck on temporary slot machines put in the buildings. The Las Vegas Club will have the first shift on June 27, with Mermaid then using the terminals the day that is following.

It’s all right element of keeping the gaming licenses active during the two properties. The Nevada Gaming Control Board mandates that casinos house gambling activities for at least eight hours every two years, otherwise the permit expires and is revoked.

Derek and Greg Stevens, owners of the D vegas on Fremont Street, acquired the vegas Club in 2015, and Mermaid in 2016, and shut their operations soon after. Before the two casinos can open, the temporarily Las Vegas City Council and Nevada Gaming Commission must sign off on the plans, and both agencies are expected to do this.

Future Unknown

Fremont as well as the Downtown Las vegas, nevada area is outpacing the rest of Sin City in terms of revenue development.

Within the last 12 months, total gaming win statewide is up nearly three percent. The Strip is up two percent.

But in Downtown Las Vegas, video gaming income is soaring more than 10 percent. The blue-collar area is attracting new guests through creative innovations, such as eSports lounges and arenas, too as Fremont mainstays like low priced food and drinks, and attractions such as for example the SlotZilla Zip Line and LED canopy display.

Dating back to the 1930s, the Las vegas, nevada Club is known for having been the first home to use a neon sign in Sin City.

Vegas Vickie Moving

With increased money than ever before flowing into the area, the Stevens brothers are in the procedure of deciding what regarding the prime real estate. The D sits regarding the southeastern end of the Fremont canopy, while Las Vegas Club and Mermaid reside on the northwestern end.

Derek Stevens has not made public the plans for the revitalization of the western end of the Fremont Street Experience, but did reveal this week that that the cowgirl that is iconic Vickie is coming down. On June 12, the beloved character sign that overlooks the former home of the Glitter Gulch gentleman’s club is being removed to make way for construction regarding the Las Vegas Club.

Stevens said in a press release that he’s not sure what her fate will be, saying he is searching for ‘the best home possible.’ One potential destination is the Neon Museum located just a few blocks north of Fremont Street.

Las Vegas Vickie has been in her place since the early 1980s, and ‘married’ Las Vegas Vic, her neighboring neon sign cowboy, in 1994.


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