Heidelberg Heist, Harrisburg Holdup

The fight(s) for Pennsylvania poker room profits

by , Oct 26, 2009 | 8:25 am

A presumably friendly game outside of Pittsburgh got robbed last week …

From the Associated Press:

Police Chief Vernon Barkley says the game was held at the Heidelberg volunteer fire hall and was breaking up about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. That’s when the promoter, 53-year-old Sara Lazzaro, was hit on the head and accosted by three armed men who took an unspecified amount of money.

The chief says one player spent a lot of time on his cell phone, and police suspect he may have been conspiring with the robbers.

Hmm, this MO sounds familiar (though with less guns at this point). Am starting to think it may not be the same gang of poker bandits wreaking havoc nationwide, but rather independent cells using standard poker robbery procedure according to some sort of Anarchist’s Super/System. If the process that we have seen replicated in Dallas, Houston, North Carolina, Atlanta, etc. plays out … it shouldn’t be long before more violent firepower comes into play.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania supposedly has every intention of eradicating this problem before it really takes hold by offering fully legal games … but state officials are still bickering in Harrisburg over who gets how much of whatever proceeds that may or may not generate. Gov. Ed Rendell, state-repped casino interests, and now municipalities are all making different threats and demands down to single-digit tax percentages … and there’s even some additional fighting over who gets to appoint board members to oversee it all.

Pennsylvania still doesn’t have a state budget, btw, and apparently the remaining battles over poker (and other casino games) are the last thing holding it up.

More specific details on Pennsylvania poker’s legislative tangle here.


Comments are closed.