Bill to legalize table games to get vote

    A House bill to legalize table games in Pennsylvania that weakens the City of Philadelphia’s control on some future gambling revenues could get a vote Wednesday.

    A House bill to legalize table games in Pennsylvania that weakens the City of Philadelphia’s control on some future gambling revenues could get a vote Wednesday.

    The gambling expansion plan is considered a key element in getting a state budget passed. And for counties it brings the promise of more casino revenues for their general funds. But an amendment added to the bill has some government watchdog groups concerned.

    Listen:
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    The amendment would give host counties one percent of revenue. But for Philadelphia, more than two-thirds of those dollars would get divided up by a special board. A board that would be chosen primarily by the state lawmakers representing those districts.

    State Representative Mike O’Brien represents the district that would house Sugarhouse casino and added the amendment.

    O’Brien: This is an appointment by an elected official, pursuant to the rules of House and Senate I am prohibited from sitting on the board or having any fiduciary connection to the board. It will be an appointment of community people. It will be decided by the community for the community and it will empower the community.

    O’Brien says there is precedence for such a board. But Tim Potts, of the watch-dog group Democracy Rising, says its unconstitutional.

    Potts: The only reason to do this is to maintain control over money that you shouldn’t have control over.

    Potts says the Supreme Court has ruled such a board would violate the separation of powers.

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