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 has become a focal point in Harrisburg for greater 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, however, is being criticized by some lawmakers.

A Pennsylvania that is 675-page gambling bill took simply 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 expand gambling in greatly the Keystone State. HB 271 would place slot machines in airports and bars, authorize online casinos and daily fantasy sports (DFS), allow the lottery to offer internet instant tickets, and create sports gambling regulations 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 easy read, but simply hours after its introduction, Republican House majority leaders ushered it in for a vote.

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

‘ in the event that you’ve all had the opportunity to read it, I do not discover how you achieved it,’ was the wry observation from Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery).

Pay So They Can Play

Ortitay’s bill would allow any establishment holding an alcohol license to accommodate slot machines. Each bar, hotel, restaurant, or fraternal club would be allowed to have as much as five gaming terminals, with vehicle stops being permitted ten. Off-track betting parlors could encompass 250 slot machines for a fee of $5 million.

Their state’s 12 licensed land-based casinos will be able to offer online gambling, but needs to be willing to shell out $8 million per site. Vegas Sands billionaire Sheldon Adelson, whoever company has Sands Bethlehem, is spending $1 million on an advertising that is aggressive opposing internet gambling in their state.

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

Airports terminals will be able to provide slots to passengers, sports gambling will be considered legal (if Congress ever overturns the ban that is federal, and DFS operators could be online after paying a $50,000 fee to Pennsylvania.

Local Share Taxation

Perhaps most importantly, HB 271 addresses the ongoing problem with the state’s casino share assessment that is local. Each venue is required by that rule to spend its host municipality $10 million yearly. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared the tax unconstitutional, as it ruled the $10 million payment, or two percent of gross slot machine game revenue, whichever is greater, violated uniformity law.

Under Ortitay’s bill, the state’s largest gambling enterprises, Sands Bethlehem and Parx, would be expected to pay two percent of gross slot income to the host county, and a flat $10 million towards the host municipality. Resorts with lower revenue pulls would spend just the two tariff that is percent.

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

It is not clear whether the higher chamber will support the Pennsylvania that is enormous gambling bill, or if Governor Tom Wolf (D) would even sign it, should it reach their desk.

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

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

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

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

UNITE HERE Local 26, the Boston-based chapter associated with the national union that represents workers in hospitality industries, claims Twin River Management slashed health care advantages for its members with no collective bargaining process.

The result, the coalition claims, costs employees hundreds of dollars a week in additional coverage costs.

After threatening a strike last thirty days, and a public protest held on the steps of the Rhode Island State House, Local 26 voted overwhelmingly in favor of a walkout this week by a count of 327-5. ‘Twin River created a crisis for our families, and if they’re seriously interested in fixing it, we’ll fulfill time and evening to have this done,’ union rep Julie Procaccini told The Providence Journal.

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

Property Hiring

Twin River Management, which also owns Rhode Island’s other casino, the Newport Grand, and the rough Rock Hotel and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, doesn’t seem extremely concerned with all the strike threat from UNITE HERE.

Neighborhood 26 has offered the business a 4 am Friday morning deadline to reach a benefits that are new, otherwise employees will leave their positions.

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

The casino also added that should a strike happen, Twin River will stay available for business, and meals and beverage solution won’t be interrupted.

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

Casino Strike Union?

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

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

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

The Plainridge Park slots parlor is just miles north for the Rhode Island-Massachusetts edge. 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 dollars in the state. Presently under construction, the property is scheduled to open in July of 2018.

Though times are robust for Twin River at the brief minute, it could be trying to reduce its overhead to better place its company within the years ahead. Unfortunately for union users, that might come at their cost.

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 a real way to make the bill more passable, while some see the amendment as a poison capsule.

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

Senate Bill 3898 seeks to legalize on-line poker in nyc by declaring it a game of skill. The legislation specifically highlights Texas hold’em and Omaha as skill-based variants of poker that should be exempt from certain gambling restrictions.

A statement from the Senator’s office said the point of the amendment that is bad-actor ‘to supply the Gaming Commission with the opportunity to simply take into account an applicant’s prior bad acts in relation to determining suitability for the permit.’

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

PokerStars Penalty

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

Such language would exclude PokerStars from pursuing licensure in New York, unless the Gaming Commission were to accept the premise that Amaya’s 2014 acquisition of this brand name had wiped the slate clean. That’s what worked for Stars in New Jersey, the only state that is american the Canada-based company has gotten a license.

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

Amaya is a strong lobbying force behind New York’s online poker efforts, and could be unlikely to support the bill in this type. In addition not to being able to be licensed on their own, the wording that is current Amaya from entering commercial partnerships with potential stakeholders in a future New York on the web poker market.

California Tribe in New Jersey

Meanwhile, over the bridge in nj, a new poker that is online has jumped to the internet gaming fray. Pala Interactive, founded by the Pala Band of Mission Indians of San Diego County, Calif., launched this week in the brand new Jersey market.

Pala debuted in New Jersey in belated 2014 and had been expected to follow featuring its online poker providing in very early 2015. Those plans were put on hold because, according to CEO Jim Ryan, formerly CEO of, his new company expected PokerStars to enter industry imminently. Under such conditions he believed 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 out of HK$1.29 million ($165,500) had been sentenced to seven years in prison on(June 7) wednesday.

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 Instances)

The court heard how Toh Hock Thiam, 54, recruited two accomplices, Seow Piak longer, 65, and Chia Wei Tien, 48, to distribute fake HK$1,000 chips to dozens of runners, whom would ultimately trade them at 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 combining the genuine chips with extra fake ones and then exchanging the stack for cash at the casino cage.

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

Most fakes that are realistic Seen in Singapore

Singapore’s Casino Regulatory Authority told the court that the potato chips were the ‘best quality’ and a lot of fakes that are realistic had ever seen. However they were spotted seven days later by an observant casino employee who spotted a slight discoloration in among the 1,291 phony chips the group had successfully passed away off.

On closer inspection, the fake ones were found to lack a certain security feature, which wasn’t divulged in court filings. Modern casino chips have numerous such features, which will make them deliberately hard to reproduce, meaning Toh’s must have been advanced enough to fool all but the deepest level of scrutiny.

All casinos have an unique pair of chips, with a unique pair of safety aspects, from high photographic-quality design that produces 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 engaging in a conspiracy to exchange the counterfeit casino chips during the Marina Bay Sands for cash following his trial final month.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Asoka Markandu said it was proven that Toh was directly responsible for 420 of this rogue chips, but argued he should be indirectly held accountable for the casino’s losses, that he was either the master forger or someone working for him directly since it could be inferred.

‘As the cash that is counterfeit were the same, an inference is drawn that Toh was either involved in the manufacture and distribution of most the counterfeit cash chips, or he had liaised by having an unknown syndicate member whom had manufactured and delivered the counterfeit money chips to him as well as others included in the scam,’ said Markandu.

Following the development of the scam, Toh fled to Malaysia, where he had been found by authorities and extradited.

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

The shuttered nevada Club and Mermaid casinos located on the Fremont Street Experience are scheduled to reopen later on this albeit only for eight hours each month.

Vegas Vickie is coming down from her perch to help make way for renovation at the Las vegas, 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 fortune on temporary slots placed in the buildings. The Las Vegas Club has the first shift on June 27, with Mermaid then taking the terminals the day that is following.

It’s all right part of keeping the gaming licenses active during the two properties. The Nevada Gaming Control Board mandates that casinos house gambling activities for at the least eight hours every 2 yrs, otherwise the permit expires and it is revoked.

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

Future Unknown

Fremont plus the Downtown Las vegas, nevada area is outpacing the rest of Sin City in terms of revenue growth.

On the last 12 months, total gaming winnings 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 visitors through imaginative innovations, such as for instance eSports lounges and arenas, also as Fremont mainstays like inexpensive food and drinks, and attractions such as for instance the SlotZilla Zip Line and LED display that is canopy.

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

Las Vegas Vickie Moving

With an increase of money than ever before flowing into the area, the Stevens brothers are in the process of deciding what regarding the prime property. The D sits in the southeastern end of the Fremont canopy, while vegas Club and Mermaid reside on the end that is northwestern.

Derek Stevens hasn’t made public the plans for the revitalization of the western end of the Fremont Street Experience, but did reveal this week that that the iconic cowgirl Vegas Vickie is coming down. On June 12, the beloved character sign that overlooks the previous house of the Glitter Gulch gentleman’s club is being removed to make method for construction in the nevada Club.

Stevens said in a pr 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.

Vegas Vickie has been doing her position since the early 1980s, and ‘married’ Las Vegas Vic, her neon that is neighboring sign, in 1994.


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