Pennsylvania Turns To Gambling For Quick Budget Fix

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Late last week, Pennsylvania legalized poker, blackjack, roulette, and other table games in an effort to fill the state’s budget hole without having to raise taxes.  Casino owners in the state have been waiting with great anticipation for this moment ever since slot machines were legalized in 2004.  Those owners also scored another win in that the new law allows them to make on-site loans to gamblers.  But with a plethora of gambling options already available next door in New Jersey and West Virginia – and more soon to come in Ohio and Maryland – Pennsylvanians shouldn’t be expecting their newly legal table games to bring in much in the way of tourism or new economic activity.

In this light, Governor Rendell’s continued insistence on a state income tax increase is very sensible.  If Pennsylvanians think that gambling will solve all their budget problems – they should think again.

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