Can sinners save Pennsylvania? Lawmakers gambling on itBy Justine McDaniel, Philly.comNovember 14, 2017 at 9:12 am The solution to your problems is never alcohol, they say — and probably not smoking or gambling, either.Unless, that is, you’re the Pennsylvania legislature. The passage of the state’s most major gambling expansion since casinos marked the third time in less than two years that lawmakers have turned to a familiar source – vice – to plug budget holes, thus avoiding spending cuts, assorted reforms, and potentially unpopular increases in sales and income taxes.Pennsylvania’s buffet of so-called sin taxes is more extensive than most states in the nation’s, said Jared Walczak, a senior policy analyst at the National Tax Foundation. The state recently has jacked up levies on cigarettes, tobacco products, and e-cigarettes. With an exceptionally high tax on casinos, the state is second only to Nevada in gaming revenues. And Pennsylvania is one of three states that owns its liquor stores; it also adds taxes on the booze they sell and instituted some price hikes this summer.