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 been a focal point in 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, nevertheless, is being criticized by some lawmakers.

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

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

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 regulations in anticipation of any change to the existing federal ban.

At almost 700 pages, the all-encompassing piece of legislation would keep no currently legal gambling option unaddressed, as far as where it can happen. It’s no easy read, 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 help blended across celebration lines.

‘ in the event that you’ve all had the chance to read it, I don’t discover how you did it,’ was the observation that is wry Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery).

Pay So That They Can Play

Ortitay’s bill would allow any establishment holding a liquor permit to accommodate slot machines. 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 betting parlors could encompass 250 slot machines for a fee of $5 million.

Hawaii’s 12 licensed land-based casinos will be able to offer gambling that is online but must certanly be prepared to shell out $8 million per web site. Las vegas Sands billionaire Sheldon Adelson, whoever company has Sands Bethlehem, is spending $1 million on an aggressive advertising campaign opposing internet gambling in their state.

Pennsylvania’s robust state-run lottery, which sold 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 could be able to offer slots to passengers, activities 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 Taxation

Perhaps above all, HB 271 addresses the ongoing problem with the state’s casino share assessment that is local. Each venue is required by that rule 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 largest gambling enterprises, Sands Bethlehem and Parx, would be needed 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 simply the two percent tariff.

Resolving the local share income tax is probably the main good reason 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 higher chamber will support the enormous Pennsylvania gambling expansion bill, or if Governor Tom Wolf (D) would even signal it, should it achieve his desk.

The Keystone State requires money to cover down its burgeoning pension debt. Putting slot machines in bars and restaurants across from schools and churches is the solution, at least in accordance with those that 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 benefits are restored to previous levels.

The UNITE HERE Local 26 union is demanding better healthcare benefits, nevertheless the Rhode Island casino at the middle for the controversy does not look like prepared to budge. (Image: Mark Reynolds/The Providence Journal)

UNITE HERE Local 26, the Boston-based chapter regarding the national union that represents employees in hospitality industries, claims Twin River Management slashed medical benefits for its members without any collective bargaining process.

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

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

The union workers are in the food 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, plus the complex Rock Hotel and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, does not seem extremely concerned aided by the strike threat from UNITE HERE.

Neighborhood 26 has given the organization a 4 am Friday early morning due date to attain a brand new benefits deal, otherwise workers will leave their positions.

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

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

A Facebook post by Twin River links to its work board casino win real money. 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 looking to rid its Local 26 affiliation and become a property that is non-union.

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 investors.

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 of this Rhode Island-Massachusetts edge. 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 casino that is third Tiverton in order to keep gaming dollars in the state. Presently under construction, the property is scheduled to open in of 2018 july.

Though times are robust for Twin River at the brief moment, it might be trying to reduce its overhead to raised place its company in the years ahead. Unfortunately for union people, 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 an actor clause that is bad. To some this seemed way to make the bill more passable, although some see the amendment as being a poison tablet.

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

Senate Bill 3898 seeks to legalize internet poker in nyc 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 purpose of the amendment that is bad-actor ‘to provide the Gaming Commission with the chance to simply take into consideration an applicant’s prior 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 using their colleagues into the Senate and Assembly to take action.’

PokerStars Penalty

The term ‘bad actor’ refers to operators that continued to serve real-money players in the United States after enactment regarding the Internet that is unlawful Gambling 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 purchase of this brand had cleaned 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 just on the provision that Amaya fire several PokerStars and Full Tilt execs who were considered too close to the guard that is old regulatory comfort.

Amaya is a lobbying that is strong behind brand New York’s online poker efforts, and will be unlikely to support the bill in this kind. In addition to not having the ability to be licensed on their own, 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, throughout the bridge in nj-new jersey, a new online poker operator has jumped to the internet gaming fray. Pala Interactive, founded by the Pala Band of Mission Indians of north park County, Calif., launched this in the New Jersey market week.

Pala debuted in New Jersey in belated 2014 and had been 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, their 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) had been sentenced to seven years in prison 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 Times)

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, who would ultimately trade them at the casino for cash 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 mixing the real chips with extra fake people and then exchanging the stack for money at the casino cage.

The cash 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 potato 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 among the 1,291 phony chips the group had successfully passed off.

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

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

Thirteen Counts of Conspiracy

Toh was found guilty of 13 counts of participating in a conspiracy to switch the fake casino chips at the Marina Bay Sands for cash following his trial month that is last.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Asoka Markandu said it had been proven that Toh was straight responsible for 420 associated with rogue chips, but argued he must be indirectly held accountable for all your 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 are drawn that Toh was either mixed up in manufacture and distribution of most the counterfeit cash chips, or he had liaised with an unknown syndicate member who had manufactured and delivered the fake money chips to him among others involved in the scam,’ said Markandu.

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

Las 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 scheduled to reopen later this month, albeit just for eight hours each.

Vegas Vickie is coming down from her perch to produce way for renovation at the Las Vegas 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 vegas 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 day that is following.

It’s all section 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 two years, otherwise the permit expires and it 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 closed their operations soon after. Before the two casinos can open, the temporarily Las vegas, nevada City Council and Nevada Gaming Commission must sign off on the plans, and both agencies are anticipated to do this.

Future Unknown

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

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

But in Downtown Las Vegas, gaming income is soaring a lot more than 10 percent. The blue-collar area is attracting new guests through imaginative innovations, such as for example eSports lounges and arenas, also 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 property that is first put in a neon sign in Sin City.

Vegas Vickie Going

With additional money than in the past flowing into the location, the Stevens brothers have been in the process of deciding what regarding the prime real-estate. The D sits in the southeastern end of the Fremont canopy, while Las vegas, nevada 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 iconic cowgirl Vegas 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 Las Vegas Club.

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

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