Massive Pennsylvania Gambling Expansion Bill Passed by State House, Although Not Without Controversy

Massive Pennsylvania Gambling Expansion Bill Passed by State House, Although Not Without Controversy

Pennsylvania gambling expansion has been a point that is focal Harrisburg for greater than 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 Pennsylvania that is 675-page gambling bill took just hours to help make its way through the House of Representatives, causing some legislators to bristle at its fast 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 expand gambling in greatly the Keystone State. HB 271 would place slot machines in airports and bars, authorize online casinos and day-to-day fantasy sports (DFS), allow the lottery to offer internet instant tickets, and create sports wagering laws 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 bulk leaders ushered it in for the vote.

In the end, it passed narrowly, by a count of 102-89, with help mixed across party lines.

‘ If you’ve all had the chance to read it, I don’t understand how you made it happen,’ was the wry observation from Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery).

Pay So They Really Can Play

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

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

Pennsylvania’s robust lottery that is state-run 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 would be able to offer slots to passengers, recreations wagering is considered legal (if Congress ever overturns the federal ban), and DFS operators could be online after paying a $50,000 cost to Pennsylvania.

Local Share Tax

Perhaps most of all, HB 271 addresses the ongoing problem with the state’s casino regional share assessment. 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 re payment, or two percent of gross video slot 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 revenue to the host county, and a flat $10 million towards the host municipality. Resorts with reduced income pulls would pay simply the two percent tariff.

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

It is not clear whether the bigger chamber will support the Pennsylvania that is enormous gambling bill, or if Governor Tom Wolf (D) would even signal 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 people who 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 advantages are restored to past levels.

The UNITE HERE Local 26 union is demanding better health care advantages, nevertheless the Rhode Island casino at the middle of the controversy does not appear to be ready to budge. (Image: Mark Reynolds/The Providence Journal)

UNITE HERE Local 26, the Boston-based chapter of the national union that represents employees in hospitality industries, claims Twin River Management slashed health care benefits for its members without the collective bargaining procedure.

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

After threatening a hit last month, and a public protest held on the steps for 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 should they’re seriously interested in fixing it, we will fulfill 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 departments, and does not encompass casino dealers.

Property Hiring

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

Local 26 has given the organization a 4 am Friday morning deadline to attain a new benefits deal, otherwise employees will leave their positions.

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

The casino also added that should a strike occur, Twin River will stay available for company, 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 under 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 trying to rid its Local 26 affiliation and be a property that is non-union.

Though labor teams happen 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 delight 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 kilometers north of the 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 casino that is third Tiverton in order to keep gaming dollars in the state. Presently under construction, the house is scheduled to open in of 2018 july.

Though times are robust for Twin River at the minute, it might be trying to reduce its overhead to better position its company in the years ahead. Unfortunately for union members, that might come at their expense.

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 add a bad actor clause. To some this seemed a real way to help make the bill more passable, while some see the amendment as being a poison tablet.

The Senate has tweaked Sen. John Bonacic’s on-line poker bill to include bad actor language that could create the type of stalemate which includes 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 variations of poker that should be exempt from certain gambling restrictions.

A statement from the Senator’s office said the purpose of the amendment that is bad-actor ‘to give you the Gaming Commission with the opportunity to just take into account an applicant’s prior bad functions 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 together with his peers 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 this Unlawful Web Gambling Enforcement 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 of 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 gotten a license.

The latest Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement granted PokerStars a license, but only on the provision that Amaya fire several PokerStars and Full Tilt execs whom were deemed too close to the old guard for regulatory comfort.

Amaya is a lobbying that is strong behind brand New York’s online poker efforts, and could be unlikely to offer the bill in this form. In addition never to being able to be licensed themselves, the wording that is current Amaya from entering commercial partnerships with possible stakeholders in a future New York on line poker market.

California Tribe in Nj

Meanwhile, throughout the connection in nj, 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 nj in late 2014 and had been likely to follow having its poker that is online offering 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 the marketplace 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 jail 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 Times)

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, who would ultimately trade them at the casino for money over a 24-hour period in November 2015.

Runners were instructed to first exchange a few counterfeit chips for genuine ones of smaller denominations, before mixing the real chips with additional fake ones 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 a lot of realistic fakes they had ever seen. However they were spotted seven days later by an observant casino employee who spotted a discoloration that is slight one of the 1,291 phony chips the team had successfully passed away 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 numerous such features, which make them deliberately difficult to reproduce, meaning Toh’s must have now been sophisticated sufficient to fool all but the deepest level of scrutiny.

All casinos have an unique set of chips, with a unique set 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 for the rogue chips, but argued he is indirectly held accountable for all your casino’s losings, that he was either the master forger or someone working for him directly since it could be inferred.

‘As the counterfeit money chips were the same, an inference could be drawn that Toh was either mixed up in manufacture and distribution of all the counterfeit cash chips, or he had liaised with an unknown syndicate member whom had manufactured and delivered the counterfeit cash chips to him as well as others included in the scam,’ stated Markandu.

Following the breakthrough of the scam, Toh fled to Malaysia, where he had been 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 on this month, albeit just for eight hours each.

Las Vegas Vickie is coming down from her perch to create 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 Las Vegas can visit the gaming floors and test their luck on temporary slot machines put in the buildings. The Las Vegas Club will have 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 least eight hours every 2 yrs, otherwise the permit expires and is revoked.

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

Future Unknown

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

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

However in Downtown Las Vegas, gaming earnings is soaring significantly more than 10 percent. The blue-collar area is attracting new visitors through creative innovations, such as eSports lounges and arenas, too as Fremont mainstays like inexpensive food and drinks, and attractions such as for instance the SlotZilla Zip Line and LED canopy display.

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

Vegas Vickie Moving

With additional money than ever before flowing into the region, the Stevens brothers come in the procedure of deciding what related to the prime real-estate. The D sits regarding the southeastern end of the Fremont canopy, while Las Vegas Club and Mermaid live 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 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 means for construction on the vegas Club.

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

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

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