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A bad bet: Expanded gambling is no state budget solution

By Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editorial Board

A 2014 report by TheStreet.com ranked Pennsylvania as the second-heaviest gambling state in the nation after Nevada. While revenue sources for the new fiscal year’s budget remain up in the air, legislators in Harrisburg seem determined to increase the amount of legal gambling in the state and keep us near the top of those rankings. This roll of the dice is not the proper way to balance the state budget.

The state House recently approved a measure to add up to 40,000 video gaming terminals at bars, restaurants and private clubs. Proponents said this eventually could add $500 million in badly needed revenue for the commonwealth each year.

According to news reports, as budget negotiations continued into overtime over the weekend, senators rejected that proposal and expressed support for another kind of gambling expansion. It involves the creation of up to 10 “satellite” casinos, secondary sites in smaller markets that could be operated by the current casino operators.

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