Sen. Tomlinson – Bill to Allow Table Games in Casinos Would Help Pennsylvania to Gain New Jobs, Revenue

(Harrisburg) – Table games in casinos would be an economic boon to the Commonwealth at a time when Pennsylvania desperately needs more jobs and revenue, Senator Tommy Tomlinson (R-Bucks) told a Senate committee today.

Senator Tomlinson testified before the Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee on Senate Bill 1033, his legislation to allow table games at the 10 existing licensed slot machine venues.  Tomlinson previously testified before the House Gaming Oversight Committee on the issue in August.

“Given the current budget crisis that we face, the worst economic downturn in decades and a shaky job climate – there is no better time for Pennsylvania to add table games to our casinos,” Tomlinson said. “Table games in casinos could be a reliable recurring revenue source to the state and provide more jobs. Slots revenues are helping us to lower property taxes throughout the Commonwealth. The addition of table games could bring in money to the General Fund to help fund needed state programs and services.”

Tomlinson told the committee that Senate Bill 1033 focuses on three major points: enhanced revenue from gaming, job development, and regulatory oversight.  Tomlinson, whose district includes the Philadelphia Park Casino in Bensalem, Bucks County, has proposed taxing table games at a rate of 12 percent after payment of an additional $10 million licensing fee, which would encourage economic growth in communities surrounding the present gaming facilities. Tomlinson acknowledged that authorization of table games is anticipated to create over 10,000 direct jobs statewide.

The Senator noted that by adding table games to existing slot locations around the state, revenues could exceed over $100 million in one-time licensing fees and an estimated $104 to $160 million in recurring revenues dependent on the number of table games at each casino. It’s anticipated, that the addition of table games would increase slot revenues by more than $60 million annually, providing an additional three percent for local property tax relief.

Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly favor the idea of keeping entertainment dollars in the Commonwealth rather than having them spent in New Jersey, West Virginia and Delaware. In a recent poll, 61 percent of Pennsylvanians polled support legislation that would add table games to existing casinos.  That approval rating increases to 71 percent when respondents were informed of new job creation, he noted.

“Our slots casinos have helped our economy and provided a good revenue source for property tax relief and we’ve learned as we have gone through the process and made the current law better,”  Tomlinson said.  “Let’s build on this success by allowing table games in these casinos.”

 

Contact:

Fran Cleaver
(717) 787-5072