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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: June 3, 2015 01:31 PM
From: Senator Kim L. Ward and Sen. Robert M. Tomlinson, Sen. Elder A. Vogel, Jr., Sen. Joseph B. Scarnati, III
To: All Senate members
Subject: Senate Bill: Title 4 (Amusements) – Gaming Enhancements and Reforms (i.e., Category 3 Slot Machine License Membership Fee, Casino Liquor License, Nonprimary & Auxiliary Locations, Racing Days Reduction and Internet Gaming)
In the near future, we plan on introducing legislation, which would amend Title 4 (Amusements), Part II (Gaming), known as the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act (Gaming Act) by providing for various enhancements and reforms.
Among the Gaming Act enhancements and reforms to be addressed in this legislation are the following:
  • The waiver of the Category 3 slot machine license (Resort Casinos) membership fee patrons are currently required to purchase at PA resort casinos, subsequent to the further investment via the payment of a one-time fee by the Category 3 licensee.
  • A casino liquor license would be available to all PA casinos upon the payment of certain fees, which would allow these 24/7 businesses to convert their existing restaurant liquor license so that alcohol may be offered during the same hours of operation as such is more consistent with their business model.  Casino liquor licenses would be subject to being revoked or suspended upon three or more violations involving minors.
  • Category 1 (Racinos) and Category 2 (Standalone Casinos) slot machine licensees would be authorized to place a limited number of slot machines (not to exceed the number of slot machines currently authorized) at nonprimary and ancillary locations respectively upon the remittance of a fee for each additional location.  The location of the nonprimary and ancillary locations will supplement the existing casinos business model and would be subject to various mileage limitations similar to those currently imposed on PA casinos.
  • Reduce the number of days on which Category 1 slot machine licensees are required to hold live races in order to strengthen the PA horse-racing industry by improving the quality of its races.
  • Existing PA casinos that offer slot machine and table games would be eligible to offer Internet gaming to individual patrons that have registered and established an Internet gaming account and are physically present in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania while playing online.  In addition, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs would be required to develop expanded compulsive and problem gambling programs specifically related to Internet gaming.
These enhancements and reforms are reflective of the challenges faced both in establishing and maintaining the viability of the PA gaming industry in an increasingly competitive environment.  It is imperative that we avoid the status quo and ensure PA casinos have the tools necessary to continue to thrive and guarantee the job security of the many men and women employed by the PA gaming industry.  This proposed legislation is meant to ensure a healthy and vibrant business atmosphere for Pennsylvania’s gaming industry, while maximizing gaming revenue and the positive economic impact of gaming in the Commonwealth.

If you have any questions about this legislation, please contact Jason R. Brehouse, Esq. at 717-787-6063 or jbrehouse@pasen.gov  and Casey Long at 717-787-7084 or clong@pasen.gov.


Introduced as SB900