Senate passes gaming legislation: SB 1088

Press release from State Senator Larry Farnese:

S.B.1088 is just one of the Senate’s responses to House action earlier this week, which merged the authorization of table games into the Senate’s first gaming reform legislation, Senate Bill 711.
 
Senator Farnese had long called for gaming reform to be passed separately, unlike the House’s measure.
 
“I am not anti-gaming, but you cannot expand the very thing you are trying to reform in the same piece of legislation,” said the senator. “I am pleased the Senate chose to keep table games out of this reform bill.”
 
The bill also requires the Gaming Board to hold public hearings and accept public comment whenever a casino seeks to redesign on relocate.  In cases when resiting and/or redesign issues are on the table, the Gaming board must also hold such meetings in the city or town hosting the casino.
 
“I pledged during my campaign that I would work to make this process more open,” Farnese said, adding, “The original Gaming Act failed to give communities proper, fair, and adequate input.  I’m pleased that the people who are most affected by casinos will now have the right to a real voice in casino development.”
 
The senator, however, expressed disappointment that other provisions did not make it into the bill, including a ban on serving free liquor in casinos or providing credit to slot machine players.
 

THE BILL

An Act amending Title 4 (Amusements) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, further providing for legislative intent and for the definitions of “conviction,” “licensed entity” and “slot machine licensee”; providing for the definitions of “executive-level public employee,” “licensed entity representative” and “trustee”; further providing for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, for the applicability of other statutes, for powers of the board and for code of conduct; providing for expenses of Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board; further providing for license or permit application hearing process and public hearings, for board minutes and records, for slot machine license fee, for reports of board, for license or permit prohibition, for application for license or permit, for slot machine license application character requirements, for license renewals, for change in ownership or control of slot machine licensees and for nonportability of slot machine license; providing for appointment of trustee; further providing for Pennsylvania Gaming Economic Development and Tourism Fund, for declaration of exemption from Federal laws prohibiting slot machines and for financial and employment interests; providing for prosecutorial and adjudicative functions; further providing for investigations and enforcement and for conduct of public officials and employees; and providing for additional authority.

BILL INFORMATION

About Senator Larry Farnese: Sen. Farnese, a Democrat, represents the First Senatorial District of Pennsylvania. He has been a member of the Senate since January 2009 and serves on the following Senate Committees: Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness (Minority Chair), Appropriations, Banking & Insurance, Communications & Technology, Education, and Labor & Industry.  He is also an appointed member of the Pennsylvania Housing Advisory Committee, a state interagency council tasked with finding solutions to ending homelessness throughout the Commonwealth.
 
About Sen. Farnese’s District: The First Senatorial District includes these Philadelphia neighborhoods: Bella Vista, Brewery Town, Chinatown, Eastwick, Fairmount, Fishtown, Girard Estate, Graduate Hospital, Grays Ferry, Hawthorne, Jefferson Square, Logan Circle, Lower Kensington, Northern Liberties, Old City, Packer Park, Pennsport, Point Breeze, Port Richmond, Queen Village, Rittenhouse Square, Society Hill, Washington West, and Whitman.

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