How a Bill May or May Not Become a Law, Part 186

Pennsylvania swears it’s ready to expand gambling+poker

by , Jan 5, 2010 | 11:40 am

Man, things take a long time in politics. Remember Pennsylvania? We almost forgot about them too … it’s been more than three months since they “agreed” to move forward with more casinos in a way that would bring more legal poker to the state with “must pass” legislation to balance the budget … which was already three months overdue. Yet as these things go, there’s been one hurdle after another in pushing this through legislative halls.

Anyhow, they’re back at it starting today — with Gov. Ed Rendell creating a direct and immediate association between casinos (+poker) and jobs. Specifically, the governor has said pass this thing THIS WEEK or 1,100 state employees will be without work. The process of firing them begins Friday.

The nitty-gritty they’re down to is upping the number of licensed resort casinos from two to three (with an option for four in 2017), and increasing the max number of slot machines at each venue from 500 to 600. Fuckin-A. How ’bout three resort casinos, compromise on the slots numbers at 550 … all for a vote to be named later? Politics doesn’t have to be this hard … or maybe it does?


Meanwhile, the Rivers Casino, in Pittsburgh, seems to be getting ready for expanded table games offerings by hiring a bunch of Harrah’s executives to help them run the ship in new waters. David Patent will be the new big-big boss in Pa. His plans include opening a sports bar and running TV commercials. [Pittsburgh Business Journal]

A few other semi-related links:

The PPA plans to attend CPAC again this year — that’s the Conservative Political Action Conference, where all the GOP muckity-mucks gather to shmooze/grovel for money and power. Should be a feisty event, and @TheEngineer is trying to rally some conservative troops to turn against Spencer Bachus (R-AL), calling him out as a past-his-conservative-prime dimwit whom the party should abandon, or at least treat as ineffective and irrelevant. []

In South Carolina, a Catholic church rejoices over Fr. Andrew Trapp’s near-million-dollar run on the PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge. If only he coulda prayed as well as Jerry Yang! [WBMF]

Also in South Carolina, Attorney General Henry McMaster is appealing a court ruling that poker is a game of skill, and trying to take the prosecution of a busted home game to the state Supreme Court. [Charleston Post and Courier]

Toledo, Ohio, is getting ready for its first casino+poker to open. The pre-launch message going out: OK, we look forward to your money, but you better be damn good citizens. [Toledo Blade]

Although jobs and economic development are critical to the city’s recovery, Mayor Bell has to avoid the temptation to give Penn National Gaming a blank check as Toledo’s casino project takes shape. Gambling is not a panacea for Toledo’s ills.

Big score, btw, for Lyle Berman, who made a $4 million bet in October to help make Ohio casinos a reality, politically, and in return locked himself into 10 percent of Ohio casino profits. [Poker Player Newspaper]

Gambling gambling gambling seems to be the big buzz in cities, states, and regions looking to shore up their coffers. And to prepare for our gambling future, the National Center for Responsible Gambling is advising American universities to develop formal gambling policies for students. []

In Washington DC, readers are challenging editors on their usage of poker metaphors in stories about the Obama vs. Ahmadinejad heads-up match over nuclear proliferation. [Washington Post]

4 Comments to “How a Bill May or May Not Become a Law, Part 186 ”

  1. Mean Gene

    Wait…there’s a casino in PITTSBURGH? Really? How did I miss this???

    Seriously once they legalize poker I’m gonna pitch a tent in the Heinz Field lots.

  2. DanM

    Funny, that was the same thing I was wondering when I saw the PBJ article. If you’ve ever seen a slots-only joint, you’ll know that for as degenerate as poker can be, it will certainly class up the joint.

  3. Brian G.

    Gambling is not a panacea for Toledo’s ills.

    Truer words were never spoken. Casino gambling does nothing to improve the world around it. A.C. is a hell hole, most of Vegas is too, and the Tontos are as poor, destitute, and drunk as ever, as their tribal chiefs are the only ones that get rich. (And believe me, they can screw their own people over in ways that whitey can only dream of).

    Nevertheless, I am all for more poker rooms! Nothing I hate more than going somewhere for work and having to hang around the hotel pool because there are no card rooms within 100 miles.

  4. Sports Picks

    2010 will be an explosion of gambling with states seeking revenue.