State Lawmakers Call for Gambling Study

Dec 4, 2013

The state Senate is calling for a legislative study of gambling in Pennsylvania.

The request is coming from Republican Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati of Jefferson County.

"The resolution came about as we continue to watch our gaming revenues go flat and in some instances decline month of over month from last year."

Scarnati says he’s watched warily as neighboring states introduce and expand gambling, increasing the regional competition for dollars.

The study would be due by next spring – just in time to consider a re-write of the state’s gaming law to allow new gambling facilities as well as online gambling.

Many lawmakers balked at the governor’s move earlier this year to unilaterally allow online gambling through the state lottery without legislative approval first.

But it appears to be on the table as lawmakers get ready to negotiate another difficult budget next year due to revenues coming in below estimated levels.

Last month, they approved a move to expand small games of chance in bars and taverns to bring in a little extra money for the commonwealth.