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Gambling Expansion: Pennsylvania Lawmakers Vote Against Slots At Airports Bill

Legislators Still Considering Online Gambling, VGTs At Bars

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A bill to allow slots in Pennsylvania’s three international airports was rejected by House lawmakers.

According to a report from The Legal Intelligencer, the legislation, HB 271, was defeated by a 112-79 margin. The legislation was “re-reported” Monday after unanimous support for amendments.

The bill was introduced in January.

Allowing travelers to play slot machines at airports is just one of the gambling expansion proposals currently being mulled over by legislators.

Also being considered is allowing bars and taverns throughout the state to have gambling machines. That proposal has been met with resistance from the casino industry.

Ten of the state’s 12 casinos are on board with another gambling expansion plan—allowing internet casino gaming. There are three online gambling proposals on the table right now.

An online gambling bill cleared a House vote last year, but it later died in the Senate.

What is at stake is keeping Pennsylvania as the second largest commercial casino market in the nation. Keystone State casinos win more than $3 billion a year from gamblers, but the market has been hovering around that amount for the last six years.

Research released last month from PlayPennsylvania said that the Keystone State online gambling market would be worth $230 million in year one, growing to $364 million by 2022.

Pennsylvania lawmakers have to contend with a rapidly expanding gambling market in neighboring New York, as well as new casinos in nearby Massachusetts and Maryland. Connecticut and New Hampshire are also looking at beefing up their respective gambling industries.