Odds against legalizing some games of chance in Pa. House

    A plan to expand legalized gambling in Pennsylvania has hit the skids after sailing through the state Senate.

    The measure would allow bars and taverns to obtain licenses to hold raffles, drawings and other games.

    Though there was no talk of such a plan during budget negotiations in June, Republican Senate Majority Leader Dominic

    Pileggi said Thursday it was already agreed on – just not finalized – as part of the current year’s spending plan.

    He says without the measure, the commonwealth will see a shortfall.

    “There are funds that are expected to be derived from gambling in taverns, small games of chance in taverns, that are part of the budget package that we passed in June,” said Pileggi, R-Delaware.

    The plan was sent to the House, where it passed out of committee, but was not brought up for a final vote.

    House Democrats said they’re suspicious of the closed-door negotiations that led to the measure. And there is disagreement over where money from the gambling expansion should go.

    Gov. Tom Corbett’s office wants to direct it to the state’s lottery fund, but the proposal would funnel it into the general state budget.

    The new games could bring as much as $36 million by next summer if implemented soon, according to the governor’s budget office.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal