Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are taking steps toward the state’s third expansion of gambling in six years as a source of cash before they raise taxes to balance a deep budget deficit.
Supporters estimate that an expansion could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in license fees plus collections from taxing a new stream of gambling profits.
A spokesman says Gov. Tom Wolf is open to a gambling expansion, if it’s part of a comprehensive package that resolves what his administration projects to be a multibillion-dollar long-term deficit.
Top Democratic lawmakers have yet to voice support.
One idea is Internet gambling, which is legal only in Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada. Other suggestions include allowing casinos to station slot machines at off-track horse-racing betting parlors and Pennsylvania’s six international airports.