Massive Pennsylvania Gambling Expansion Bill Passed by State House, But Not Without Debate

Pennsylvania gambling expansion has become a focal point in Harrisburg for over a year, but late Wednesday night, the state’s home of Representatives finally took action on the matter. The manner in which they did so, however, is being criticized by some lawmakers.

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

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

The measure seeks to greatly expand gambling in the Keystone State. HB 271 would place slots in airports and bars, authorize online casinos and daily fantasy sports (DFS), allow the lottery to offer internet instant tickets, and create sports wagering 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 read that is easy but just 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 support mixed across party lines.

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

Pay So They Can Play

Ortitay’s bill would allow any establishment holding a liquor license to accommodate slot machines. 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 gambling that is online but should be willing to shell out $8 million per website. Vegas Sands billionaire Sheldon Adelson, whose business has Sands Bethlehem, is spending $1 million on an aggressive marketing campaign opposing internet gambling in the state.

Pennsylvania’s robust state-run lottery, which sold 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 will be able to offer slots to passengers, recreations gambling will be considered legal (if Congress ever overturns the federal ban), and DFS operators could be online after paying a $50,000 fee to Pennsylvania.

Local Share Taxation

Perhaps above all, HB 271 addresses the ongoing problem with the state’s casino neighborhood share assessment. That rule calls for each venue to spend its host municipality $10 million yearly. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared the tax unconstitutional, as it ruled the $10 million payment, or two percent of gross slot machine game revenue, whichever is greater, violated uniformity law.

Under Ortitay’s bill, the state’s largest casinos, Sands Bethlehem and Parx, would be expected to pay two percent of gross slot income to the host county, and a flat $10 million to the host municipality. Resorts with reduced income pulls would pay just the two tariff that is percent.

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

It is not clear whether the larger chamber will help the Pennsylvania that is enormous gambling bill, or if Governor Tom Wolf (D) would even sign it, should it reach their desk.

The Keystone State needs money to cover down its pension that is burgeoning debt. Putting slot machines in bars and restaurants across from schools and churches is the answer, at the very least according to those who voted to approve 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 advantages are restored to levels that are previous.

The UNITE HERE Local 26 union is demanding better health care benefits, but the Rhode Island casino at the center of this debate does not look like 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, says Twin River Management slashed health care benefits for its members without the collective bargaining process.

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

After threatening a hit final month, and a public protest held on the steps of 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 should they’re seriously interested in fixing it, we will meet and night to get this done,’ union rep Julie Procaccini told The Providence Journal day.

The union employees are in the beverage and food, and hospitality divisions, and does not encompass casino dealers.

Property Hiring

Twin River Management, which also has Rhode Island’s other casino, the Newport Grand, in addition to the complex Rock Hotel and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, does not seem extremely concerned because of the strike threat from UNITE HERE.

Neighborhood 26 has provided the business a 4 am Friday early morning due date to attain a new advantages 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 immediate openings, and provide wages that are highly competitive benefits.’

The casino also added that should a strike occur, Twin River will stay available for business, and food and beverage solution 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 neighborhood 26 union, including bartenders and cocktail servers, wait staff, dishwashers, hosts, cooks, and banquet jobs.

Casino Strike Union?

Twin River’s hiring spree might suggest that the casino is trying to rid its Local 26 affiliation and become a property that is non-union.

Though labor teams are blamed for hampering profitability in Atlantic City, billionaire Carl Icahn’s public feud with UNITE HERE the most recent example, that isn’t the case at the Rhode Island casino. Twin River is really producing record profits, and made a $20 million stock buyback last fall, much to the delight of shareholders.

But competition is closing in on America’s state that is smallest, as Massachusetts’ casino resorts near conclusion.

The Plainridge Park slots parlor is just miles north associated with Rhode Island-Massachusetts border. And the $2 billion Wynn Boston Harbor, some 50 miles away, is on scheduled to open in 2019.

Twin River convinced Rhode Island to let it build a third casino in Tiverton so that gaming bucks in the state. Presently under construction, the house is scheduled to open in July of 2018.

Though times are robust for Twin River at the minute, it may be seeking to reduce its overhead to better place its business 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 consist of an actor android casino apps real money clause that is bad. To some this seemed a real way to make the bill more passable, although some see the amendment as a poison pill.

The Senate has tweaked Sen. John Bonacic’s internet poker bill to include bad actor language that could produce the type of stalemate who has crippled online poker’s chances in California. (Image:

Senate Bill 3898 seeks to legalize internet poker in New York 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 reason of the amendment that is bad-actor ‘to give you the Gaming Commission with the opportunity to simply take into account an applicant’s prior bad acts in relation to determining suitability for a permit.’

The statement added that Bonacic was still committed to moving the bill forward, and that the senator was ‘looking forward to dealing with his peers in the Senate and Assembly to do this.’

PokerStars Penalty

The term ‘bad actor’ refers to operators that continued to serve real-money players in the United States after enactment associated with illegal Internet 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 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 company has received a license.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement granted PokerStars a license, but only on the provision that Amaya fire several PokerStars and Full Tilt execs who were considered too near the guard that is old regulatory comfort.

Amaya is a strong lobbying force behind brand New York’s online poker efforts, and could be unlikely to offer the bill in this kind. In addition not to having the ability to be licensed on their own, the wording that is current Amaya from entering commercial partnerships with prospective stakeholders in a future New York on line poker market.

California Tribe in Nj

Meanwhile, throughout the bridge in 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 hillcrest County, Calif., launched this in the New Jersey market week.

Pala debuted in New Jersey in late 2014 and ended up being expected to follow having its online poker providing in very 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 industry 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) was sentenced to seven years in prison 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 chips that are fake the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. (Image: Wong Kwai Chau/Singapore Straits Days)

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, whom would ultimately trade them during the casino for cash over a period that is 24-hour November 2015.

Runners were instructed to exchange that is first counterfeit chips for genuine ones of smaller denominations, before blending the real chips with extra fake people and then exchanging the stack for cash at the casino cage.

The cash would then be delivered to 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 a week later by an observant casino employee who spotted a slight discoloration in one of many 1,291 phony potato chips the group 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 actually numerous such features, which can make them deliberately tough to reproduce, meaning Toh’s must have been advanced enough to fool all but the deepest level of scrutiny.

All casinos have an unique group of chips, with a unique group of security aspects, from high photographic-quality design that produces them difficult to forge, to chips within 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 change the counterfeit casino potato chips at the Marina Bay Sands for cash following his trial last month.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Asoka Markandu said it had been proven that Toh was directly responsible for 420 associated with the rogue chips, but argued he ought to be indirectly held accountable for all the 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 can be drawn that Toh was either involved in the manufacture and distribution of all the counterfeit cash chips, or he had liaised having an unknown syndicate member whom had manufactured and delivered the fake cash chips to him and others included in the scam,’ stated Markandu.

After the development of the scam, Toh fled to Malaysia, where he had been acquired by authorities and extradited.

Las Vegas Club and Mermaid Set to Reopen, But Only for Eight Hours

The shuttered nevada Club and Mermaid casinos found on the Fremont Street Experience are scheduled to reopen later on this albeit only for eight hours each month.

Vegas Vickie is coming down from her perch to help make 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 fortune on temporary slots placed in the buildings. The Las Vegas Club will have the first shift on June 27, with Mermaid then taking the terminals the following day.

It’s all right part of keeping the gaming licenses active at the two properties. The Nevada Gaming Control Board mandates that casinos house gambling activities for at the least eight hours every 2 yrs, otherwise the permit expires and is revoked.

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

Future Unknown

Fremont while the Downtown nevada area is outpacing the rest of Sin City in terms of revenue growth.

Within 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 more than 10 percent. The blue-collar area is attracting new visitors through innovative innovations, such as for example eSports lounges and arenas, too as Fremont mainstays like inexpensive food and drinks, and attractions such as the SlotZilla Zip Line and LED display that is canopy.

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

Las Vegas Vickie Going

The Stevens brothers are in the process of deciding what to do with the prime real estate with more money than ever flowing into the area. The D sits in the southeastern end of the Fremont canopy, while vegas Club and Mermaid reside on the northwestern end.

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 former home of the Glitter Gulch gentleman’s club is being removed to make means for construction in 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 home that is best feasible.’ One destination that is potential the Neon Museum located just a couple blocks north of Fremont Street.

Las 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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