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 point that is focal Harrisburg for over a year, but late Wednesday night, the state’s House of Representatives finally took action on the matter. The manner in which they did so, but, is being criticized by some lawmakers.

A Pennsylvania that is 675-page gambling bill took just hours in order to make its way through the House of Representatives, causing some legislators to bristle at its speedy 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 slots 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 gambling laws in anticipation of any change to the existing ban that is federal.

At almost 700 pages, the all-encompassing piece of legislation would leave no currently legal gambling option unaddressed, as far as where it can happen. It’s no read that is easy 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 mixed across party lines.

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

Pay So That They Can Play

Ortitay’s bill would allow any establishment holding a liquor 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 slots for the fee of $5 million.

Their state’s 12 licensed land-based casinos could be in a position to offer gambling that is online but must certanly be willing to shell out $8 million per site. Vegas Sands billionaire Sheldon Adelson, whoever business owns Sands Bethlehem, is spending $1 million on an advertising that is aggressive opposing internet gambling in hawaii.

Pennsylvania’s robust state-run lottery, which offered over $4 billion worth of tickets in 2016, would additionally move 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 offer slots to passengers, recreations betting is considered legal (if Congress ever overturns the ban that is federal, and DFS operators could be online after paying a $50,000 charge to Pennsylvania.

Local Share Income Tax

Perhaps most of all, HB 271 addresses the ongoing problem with the state’s casino local share assessment. That rule calls for each place to pay its host municipality $10 million annually. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared the tax unconstitutional, as it ruled the $10 million payment, or two percent of gross video slot revenue, whichever is greater, violated uniformity law.

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

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

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

The Keystone State requires money to pay down its burgeoning retirement debt. Putting slot machines in bars and restaurants across from schools and churches is the solution, at least according to those who voted to approve 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 past levels.

The UNITE HERE Local 26 union is demanding better healthcare advantages, however the Rhode Island casino at the middle associated with the debate does not look like ready to budge. (Image: Mark Reynolds/The Providence Journal)

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

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

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 meet day and night getting this done,’ union rep Julie Procaccini told The Providence Journal.

The union workers are in the meals and beverage, 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, doesn’t appear overly concerned with all the strike threat from UNITE HERE.

Neighborhood 26 has given the business a 4 am Friday early morning due date to achieve a benefits that are new, otherwise employees will leave their positions.

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

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

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

Casino Strike Union?

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

Though labor teams were 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 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 completion.

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

Twin River convinced Rhode Island to let it build a 3rd casino in Tiverton in order to keep gaming dollars in the state. Currently under construction, the property is scheduled to open in July of 2018.

Though times are robust for Twin River at the moment, it may be looking to reduce its overhead to raised place its business within the years ahead. Unfortunately for union members, that might come at their cost.

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

Nyc state Sen. John Bonacic’s bill to legalize online poker bill was amended this week to consist of a bad actor clause. To some this seemed a real way to help make the bill more passable, while others see the amendment being a poison supplement.

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

Senate Bill 3898 seeks to legalize poker that is online 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 reason of the bad-actor amendment had been ‘to give you the Gaming Commission with the opportunity to just take into consideration an applicant’s previous bad acts in relation to determining suitability for the license.’

The statement added that Bonacic was still committed to moving the bill forward, and that the senator was ‘looking forward to working with their colleagues into the Senate and Assembly to do so.’

PokerStars Penalty

The word ‘bad actor’ refers to operators that continued to serve real-money players in the United States after enactment of the Internet that is unlawful Gambling 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 regarding the 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 business has received a license.

The newest 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 considered too near the guard that is old regulatory comfort.

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

California Tribe in Nj

Meanwhile, across the connection in nj-new jersey, a new poker that is online has jumped into 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 late 2014 and was anticipated to follow having its poker that is online offering very early 2015. Those plans were put on hold because, according to CEO Jim Ryan, formerly CEO of, His company that is new expected 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 out of HK$1.29 million ($165,500) had been sentenced to seven years in 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 24-hour period in November 2015.

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

The bucks would then be delivered to 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 chips were the ‘best quality’ & most realistic fakes they had ever seen. Nonetheless they were spotted seven days later by an observant casino employee whom spotted a slight discoloration in among the 1,291 phony chips the group had successfully passed down.

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

All casinos have an unique set of chips, with a unique pair of protection aspects, from high photographic-quality design that produces them difficult to forge, to chips within 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 exchange the counterfeit casino potato 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 straight responsible for 420 regarding the rogue chips, but argued he must certanly be indirectly held accountable for all the casino’s losings, because it could possibly be inferred he was either the master forger or someone employed by him directly.

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

Following the development of the scam, Toh fled to Malaysia, where he was acquired by authorities and extradited.

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

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

Vegas Vickie is coming down from her perch to create 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, nevada can visit the video gaming floors and test their fortune on temporary slots placed in the buildings. The Las Vegas Club will have the first shift on June 27, with Mermaid then using the terminals the following day.

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

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

Future Unknown

Fremont and also the Downtown nevada area is outpacing the rest of Sin City in terms of revenue growth.

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

But in Downtown Las Vegas, gaming income is soaring more than 10 percent. The blue-collar area is attracting new visitors through creative innovations, such as for instance eSports lounges and arenas, aswell as Fremont mainstays like cheap food and drinks, and attractions such as for example 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 property that is first use a neon sign in Sin City.

Vegas Vickie Moving

The Stevens brothers are in the process of deciding what to do with the prime real estate with more money than ever flowing into the area. The D sits in the southeastern end of the Fremont canopy, while vegas Club and Mermaid live on the northwestern end.

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 cowgirl that is iconic Vickie is coming down. On June 12, the beloved character sign that overlooks the previous home of the Glitter Gulch gentleman’s club is being removed to make way for construction on the nevada Club.

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

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


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