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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 26, 2017 11:09 AM
From: Representative Jason Ortitay
To: All House members
Subject: Gambling Hotline Legislation
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to update the Commonwealth’s problem gambling programs.

First, the Gaming Act establishes and funds programs for public education, awareness and training regarding the treatment and prevention of compulsive and problem gambling. Although the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) currently administers these programs, the current language of the Gaming Act provides the Department of Health with this authority. The Gaming Act needs to be updated to reflect current practice, and my legislation will make this simple change.

Second, my legislation will make a needed change to the administration of the Commonwealth’s problem gambling assistance toll-free number. Specifically, my legislation will require DDAP to maintain one toll-free gambling assistance number, which all other Pennsylvania casinos must utilize.

Current law requires DDAP to maintain a toll-free gambling assistance number and for casinos to make gambling assistance numbers available to patrons. However, at a 2015 hearing before the Gaming Oversight Committee, the committee received testimony that there are several toll-free gambling assistance numbers being utilized in the Commonwealth.

I believe that there needs to be consistency with these gambling assistance toll-free numbers, which is why I am introducing legislation that would simply require the department to maintain one toll-free number, which all other Pennsylvania casinos must utilize.

I hope you will join me in cosponsoring this important piece of legislation.

Introduced as HB271