Legislators in Pennsylvania will prioritise the institution of a bill to legalise online gambling and DFS in the state when the senate returns for its next session in September.
The state is considering these measures as a way of generating much needed revenue, however the inclusion of legalisation of video gaming terminals within the new package is proving to be a major sticking point, preventing the legislation from moving forward.
Video Gaming Terminals or VGT’s are to be included along with several other regulatory issues in a Senate Law & Justice Committee meeting which is schedule for September 19th.
Pennsylvania Senator Chuck McIlhinney, who chairs the committee recently issued a statement on his website which outlined the issues at stake: “I guess we should thank the House for bringing this issue to light, though I find it disturbing that members of this legislature may have known about possible illegal gaming machines and done nothing about it,”
“I think it is important that we show the people of Pennsylvania we can address the problem of illegal VGTs before we talk about adding 55,000 new machines into venues across the state,” McIlhinney continued. “These hearings are an important first step in that process.”
It is highly likely that the issue of VGT’s may be taken off any final bill, in order to allow for the passage of the potentially more lucrative online gaming and DFS legislation, but supporters of VGT’s are not giving up the fight.
Representative Mark Mustio, who has been the strongest advocate for VGT legalisation in the state recently told the Delco Times newspaper: “Why would our governor and some legislators coldly turn their backs on the hardworking small business owners who have elected them into office?”
“Consider the million-dollar ad campaigns being run by Las Vegas casinos. Casinos don’t want to share an inch of the playing field with small businesses and are in fact lobbying hard to silence them completely. Don’t let them silence you!”