Governor Favors Video Poker

Published March 14, 2009 by OCR Editor

Governor Favors Video Poker

PA Governor Ed Rendell is in favor of regulating the video poker industry in his home state, to assist college students with their tuition fees.

In a move bound to stir up debate, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell proposed regulating the video poker industry in his state. At the core of the issue is Rendell's desire to help college students battling to pay their exorbitant tuition fees. The manner in which the governor is trying to help is through taxing the already thriving video poker industry.

Cheers and sneers
Naturally, as with all proposals that generate debate in House meetings, governor Rendell met with rapturous applause from some and opposition from others. In the eyes of those who support such a move the logic is clear. Legalization and regulation of video poker in bars and restaurants in PA would allow for greater revenues, increased business traffic and rising profits.

This in turn has the tax authorities excited. Greater economic activity equals higher tax revenues. Lawmakers too stand to see a fully regulated video poker industry. Opponents fear problem gambling issues, the effects on the national lottery and the impact on property tax dollar relief being generated by the casinos.

Proceeds to help
Proceeds from the taxed video poker industry would go towards educational assistance and relief programs. A figure to the tune of $500 million a year is expected to be generated. The recipients would be the 14 state-owned universities and community colleges. Despite the opposition of some colleges that are not qualified to receive funding - sour grapes- casinos too are somewhat worried about diminishing market share.

Rendell is unfazed. Of the 17,000 video poker machines currently operating in PA, Rendell is convinced that massive revenues and profits will not only serve students well, but help keep local bars and restaurants in business. It could act as a buffer to the no-smoking rule that has all but crippled their industry. Critics across the table feel that maybe the governor is paving the way for legalizing table games at PA casinos.

See also

West Virginia Lawmakers File Bill To Fast-Track Online Gambling

Connecticut, Nebraska, and Louisiana Move Forward with Sports Betting

2012 US Elections: Online Gambling on the Ballot


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