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

Pennsylvania gambling expansion is a focal point in Harrisburg for more than 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 675-page Pennsylvania gambling expansion bill took simply hours in order to 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 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 gambling 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 majority leaders ushered it in for the vote.

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

‘ If you’ve all had the opportunity to read it, I do not discover how you made it happen,’ 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 license to accommodate slot devices. Each bar, hotel, restaurant, or club that is fraternal be allowed to have up to 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.

Hawaii’s 12 licensed land-based casinos is able to offer gambling that is online but needs to be willing to shell out $8 million per site. Las vegas, nevada Sands billionaire Sheldon Adelson, whoever business owns 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 a lot 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 provide slots to people, activities wagering would be 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 most of all, HB 271 addresses the ongoing problem with the state’s casino neighborhood share assessment. 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 payment, or two percent of gross video slot income, whichever is greater, violated uniformity law.

Under Ortitay’s bill, the state’s biggest gambling enterprises, Sands Bethlehem and Parx, would be required to spend two percent of gross slot revenue to the host county, and a flat $10 million to the host municipality. Resorts with reduced revenue pulls would pay simply the two percent tariff.

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

It isn’t clear whether the larger chamber will support the Pennsylvania that is enormous gambling bill, or if Governor Tom Wolf (D) would even signal it, should it achieve their desk.

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

The UNITE HERE Local 26 union is demanding better health care benefits, nevertheless the Rhode Island casino at the guts regarding the controversy doesn’t be seemingly ready to budge. (Image: Mark Reynolds/The Providence Journal)

UNITE HERE Local 26, the Boston-based chapter associated with the national union that represents employees in hospitality industries, claims Twin River Management slashed health care advantages for its members with no collective bargaining process.

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

After threatening a hit final month, and a public protest held on the steps associated with 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 serious about fixing it, we’ll meet day and evening getting this done,’ union rep Julie Procaccini told The Providence Journal.

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, as well as the tough Rock Hotel and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, does not seem overly concerned using the strike threat from UNITE HERE.

Local 26 has given the business a 4 am Friday morning due date to reach a brand new advantages deal, otherwise workers will leave their positions.

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

The casino also added that should a strike happen, Twin River will stay available for company, and meals and beverage solution won’t be interrupted.

A Facebook post by Twin River links to its task board. Nearly all the listings are roles that would fall beneath the neighborhood 26 union, including bartenders and cocktail servers, wait staff, dishwashers, hosts, cooks, and banquet positions.

Casino Strike Union?

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

Though labor teams have now been 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 generating record profits, making a $20 million stock buyback final fall, much to the pleasure of investors.

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

The Plainridge Park slots parlor is just kilometers north regarding the 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 3rd casino in Tiverton to keep gaming dollars in the state. Currently under construction, the house is scheduled to open in July of 2018.

Though times are robust for Twin River at the brief minute, it could be looking to reduce its overhead to raised place its company in the years ahead. Unfortunately for union members, that might come at their cost.

Bad Actor Clause Threatens to Stymie Online Poker Legislation in New York

Ny state Sen. John Bonacic’s bill to legalize online poker bill was amended this week to add an actor clause that is bad. To some this seemed a real way to help make the bill more passable, while others see the amendment as being a poison product.

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

Senate Bill 3898 seeks to legalize poker that is online ny 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 bad-actor amendment was ‘to give you the Gaming Commission with the chance to just take under consideration an applicant’s previous 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 working together with their peers in 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 for the 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 associated with 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 company has gotten a license.

The brand new 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 near to the guard that is old regulatory comfort.

Amaya is a lobbying that is strong behind brand New York’s online poker efforts, and could be unlikely to support the bill in this type. In addition never to being able to be licensed by themselves, the present wording disallows Amaya from entering commercial partnerships with potential stakeholders in a future New York on the web poker market.

California Tribe in Nj

Meanwhile, over the connection in nj-new jersey, a new internet poker operator has jumped in 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 nj-new jersey in late 2014 and was anticipated to follow featuring its online poker offering in very early 2015. Those plans were put on hold because, according to CEO Jim Ryan, formerly CEO of, their brand new company expected PokerStars to enter the market 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 away from HK$1.29 million ($165,500) had been 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 fake chips at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. (Image: Wong Kwai Chau/Singapore Straits Instances)

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, whom would ultimately trade them during the casino for money 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 combining the real chips with extra fake ones and then exchanging the stack for money 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 chips were the ‘best quality’ and most fakes that are realistic had ever seen. But they were spotted seven days later by an observant casino employee whom spotted a discoloration that is slight one of the 1,291 phony potato chips the team 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 numerous such features, which will make them deliberately hard to reproduce, which means that Toh’s must have been sophisticated enough to fool all but the deepest level of scrutiny.

All casinos have an unique pair of chips, with a unique group 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 participating in a conspiracy to switch 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 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 counterfeit cash potato chips were the same, an inference could be drawn that Toh was either mixed up in manufacture and distribution of most the counterfeit cash chips, or he had liaised by having an unknown syndicate member who had manufactured and delivered the fake cash chips to him among others included in the scam,’ said Markandu.

After the discovery of the scam, Toh fled to Malaysia, where he was acquired by authorities and extradited.

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

The shuttered Las Vegas Club and Mermaid casinos located on the Fremont Street Experience are planned 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 video gaming floors and test their luck on temporary slot machines placed in the buildings. The Las Vegas Club may have the first shift on June 27, with Mermaid then taking the terminals the following day.

It’s all part 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 couple of years, otherwise the permit expires and is revoked.

Derek and Greg Stevens, owners of the D Las Vegas on Fremont Street, acquired the Las vegas, nevada Club in 2015, and Mermaid in 2016, and shut their operations immediately 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 and the Downtown Las vegas, nevada area is outpacing the rest of Sin City in terms of revenue development.

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

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

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

Las Vegas Vickie Moving

With additional money than ever before flowing into the area, the Stevens brothers are in the process of deciding what related to the prime real estate. The D sits regarding the southeastern end of the Fremont canopy, while Las vegas, nevada Club and Mermaid reside 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 iconic cowgirl Las vegas Vickie is coming down. On June 12, the beloved character sign that overlooks the former house of the Glitter Gulch gentleman’s club is being removed to make method for construction in the vegas Club.

Stevens said in a pr release he’s not certain what her fate will be, saying he is searching for ‘the home that is best possible.’ One potential location 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’ Las Vegas Vic, her neighboring neon sign cowboy, in 1994.