Agen Casino 2018

Amid all the hoopla of the Pennsylvania gambling bill was one small sentence that made a huge difference for the future of Mount Airy Casino and Resort. That sentence was an amendment to the satellite-casino section of the bill, in which lawmakers were able to slip in the following legal jargon, the meaning of which we’ll cover after the quote: As we’ve detailed in past articles, the satellite casino portion of the PA gambling expansion bill allowed for up to 10 mini- casinos with considerably fewer slots and table games than non-satellites. Part of that rule included a 25-mile buffer between all current casinos and future satellites. The idea is that the 25-mile buffer cuts down on competing casinos losing customers to satellites. The uniquely-worded amendment mentioned earlier takes that casino protection to the next level, but only for Mount Airy. Mount Airy is a Category 2 casino; satellites are Category 4. Moreover, the counties surrounding Mount Airy’s county are considered sixth-class counties. What do all these categories add up to? Well, all those various designations mean that Mount Airy has a sweetheart deal. The buffer around the casino is massive and, as the closest PA casino to New York, it guarantees that no satellite will stand in the way of gamblers coming from the Empire State. Harrisburg mum on who added amendment Perhaps the greatest mystery in this whole situation is who added the amendment that provide Mount Airy such a clear advantage over other casinos in the state. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette brought up this interesting discussion in an article earlier this month. After pointing out that lawmakers and politicians in the state capitol have stayed silent on who added the amendment. The paper then went on to point out that the casino’s original owner, Louis DeNaples, sold off his share in the casino “after he was dogged by claims of ties to organized crimes.” It’s quite a leap to even allude to the fact that the casino’s found had alleged ties to the mob — the implication is that organized crime had something to do with the amendment. While that theory is certainly far-fetched, it’s not crazy to think that such a sweetheart deal for Mount Airy had to be added at the last second by virtue of more than just a few convincing conversations with the unnamed penman behind the amendment.

Contents
1 Reading wants in the satellite casino business
2 The entire city council is behind it
3 The good outweighs the bad From Adams Township in Snyder County to Woodward Township in Lycoming, the number of Pennsylvania municipalities exercising the option to prohibit the opening of a satellite casino inside their borders is growing every day. In fact, the list of municipalities opting out on the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board website was up over 200 by 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 4. However, at least one PA municipality is taking a different tack. The City of Reading in Berks County wants the local gambling industry to know it’s doors are open to them. Reading wants in the satellite casino business In fact, Reading City Council voted unanimously Monday to pass a resolution urging the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to approve plans for a satellite casino there. With a population of a little less than 90,000, Reading is the fifth-largest city in Pennsylvania. It is perhaps best known for lending its name to a now-defunct railroad that was one of four on the classic Monopoly board. Or possibly for the large number of pretzel bakeries that call it home. Of course, Reading made national headlines in 2010 for all the wrong reasons. The National Census identified it as having the highest share of citizens living in poverty in the entire country. Now, the city government is hoping a satellite casino can help turn its economic fortunes around. State lawmakers passed a comprehensive gambling expansion bill in October. Among several measures, it authorized the construction of up to ten satellite casinos across the state. These mini-casinos could house anywhere from 300 to 750 slot machines and 30 table games. However, none are allowed to be built within a 25-mile radius of one of the state’s 12 existing casino properties. Plus, municipalities are able to opt out, prohibiting the opening of a satellite casino near them. Reading is opting in. The entire city council is behind it It all started with Reading Mayor Wally Scott telling the local press he fully supported the idea of bringing a satellite casino to the city. Before long, Reading City Council President Jeff Waltman was calling the city a prime location. Soon after, Reading’s Managing Director Glenn Steckman was touting the benefits of such an operation. He said a satellite casino would create jobs and help re-energize certain areas of the city. He pointed to the economic development seen around other casinos like the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem as an example. By Monday of this week, Waltman was introducing a resolution urging the PA casino industry to consider Reading for a satellite casino. Plus, the entire City Council was behind the idea. The good outweighs the bad Concerns about potential societal ills brought on by the presence of casinos may have hundreds of municipalities opting out. However, the members of Reading City Council stand by the idea the state is already funding problem gambling initiatives and a satellite casino in Reading would do everyone a lot more good than bad. “With gambling facilities, there are always negatives, but the positives far outweigh them,” Councilman John Slifko said at the meeting where the resolution was passed. “This is an opportunity to help with the revitalization of downtown. Gambling is going to go somewhere. We might as well have it here and reap some of the good aspects.” Next up for Reading is to see if any PA casinos want to bid on opening up a mini-casino there. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will be accepting bids early 2018. In the meantime, other municipalities across the state have until Dec. 31 to opt out.

Contents
1 Online gambling legislation in the US
2 Anti-online gambling fear mongering
3 A reiteration of RAWA In response to Pennsylvania passing online gambling legislation last month, two US Senators are asking the US Department of Justice to change the legal opinion that allowed the state to do it. Sens. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) co-wrote a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein asking that the DOJ revisit and withdraw its 2011 legal opinion on the 1961 Federal Wire Act. It was that same opinion that paved the way for PA and three other states to legalize and regulate internet gambling. The DOJ issued its legal opinion that 1961 Federal Wire Act only applies only to sports betting in December 2011. It was in response to questions about the legality of online lottery sales. However, several states took this to mean the act did not apply to online gambling either. Online gambling legislation in the US Four states have since passed online gambling legislation, including Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey. New Jersey’s online gambling industry is now averaging approximately $20 million a month in revenue. In October 2017, Pennsylvania became the fourth state to pass online gambling legislation. The state is still at the licensing and regulation stage. PA’s first online gambling sites have yet to open up. In the meantime, Sens. Feinstein and Graham say the question of whether online casinos should be allowed in the US is one better left to Congress to decide. They are now asking that the the DOJ reverse its position, fearing that if it does not, online casinos will soon “sweep across our country.” Anti-online gambling fear mongering This latest letter from Sens. Feinstein and Graham is a follow-up to one from three years ago. At that time, Sens. Feinstein and Graham said the the DOJ opinion could turn “every smartphone, tablet, and personal computer in our country into a casino available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” It provides no evidence to back it up. However, the letter also claims online gambling preys upon children and society’s most vulnerable. The internet itself, and online gambling, are still not yet 50 years old. However, the letter from Sens. Feinstein and Graham claims the DOJ opinion “reversed 50 years of interpreting the Wire Act to prohibit all gambling online.” The letter also mentions a 2013 Federal Bureau of Investigation statement that online casinos are vulnerable to a variety of criminal activity, like money laundering. However, the FBI claims clearly referred to offshore online gambling operations, not online casinos that are legal and regulated by US states with a variety of consumer protections in place. A reiteration of RAWA The letter appears to be a reiteration of the arguments made in favor of a bill called the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA). RAWA was first introduced in 2014. The legislation would effectively rewrite the Federal Wire Act to ban most forms of online gambling. This includes state-regulated online gambling in PA, New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada. RAWA is widely believed to be backed by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. He is founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corporation. Sands owns and operates Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in PA. Several drafts of RAWA have been introduced in both chambers of Congress, but have failed to advance. Sens. Feinstein and Graham are clearly hoping to shut down online gambling in the US and take away states’ rights to pass online gambling legislation. However, they readily admit it is a growing market. In fact, their letter suggests other states are “lined up to follow suit” after PA passed online gambling legislation last month.

Contents
1 NJ signs interstate online poker agreement
2 PA’s comprehensive gambling expansion
3 Is New York next?
4 Building up US online poker through satellites New Jersey online gambling sites are setting new records this year, averaging $20 million a month in revenue. However, less than 10 percent of that revenue comes from online poker. In Nevada, online poker numbers spike during the annual World Series of Poker. This is partly due to the WSOP.com Nevada poker site offering online satellites into live WSOP events and online WSOP bracelet events of its own. However, throughout the rest of the year, the numbers aren’t all that impressive. In Delaware, the third state with legal and regulated online poker, the market is too small to count. Alas, two things happened last month that have renewed hope the online poker market in the US can be revitalized. NJ signs interstate online poker agreement First, New Jersey signed on to an agreement to share player pools with Nevada and Delaware. Those two states have already been operating under a similar agreement since 2015. However, hope for growth in online poker lies in the size of the New Jersey market, which is potentially twice that of the other two states. Once sites can get the necessary regulatory approval and start sharing player pools across all three states, the number of cash games and tournament prize pools should rise exponentially. That, in turn, could draw an even bigger number of players back to the online game. PA’s comprehensive gambling expansion But the second and biggest thing to happen for online poker in the US last month was Pennsylvania joining the mix. As a part of a comprehensive gambling expansion bill passed by lawmakers, Pennsylvania legalized online poker last month. The potential market in PA is even bigger than New Jersey. The state will likely open up PA-only online poker sites at the outset, but the legislation passed allows it to join the interstate agreement with New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware in the future. If and when PA signs that agreement, it could potentially double the size of the existing US online poker market. Those kind of numbers will certainly help propel online poker in the US, but there’s more to it as well. In fact, the Keystone State could be the key to unlocking online poker legislation in other states. It may even create a cascade across the country that grows the legal and regulated US online poker market by leaps and bounds. The list of states already considering online gambling or online poker legislation is already a big one, and it’s growing all the time. It includes:
New York
California
Illinois
Michigan
Massachusetts
Mississippi
New Hampshire
West Virginia With a large state like Pennsylvania now on board, these states are going to have an increasingly difficult time ignoring online poker as a potential source of revenue. Plus, other states on the sidelines could move to jump in the game as well. Is New York next? The closest state to passing online poker legislation on the list may be New York. Online poker legislation has passed through one branch of the state legislature the past two years. But it has died on the floor of the other. However, new legislative procedures in the state will see NY online poker legislation begin where it left off in 2018. That should give it more time, and an even better chance of passing. If a state with close to 13 million people like PA can help move New York towards online poker legislation, imagine what New York and its almost 20 million people can do for the rest of the country. In fact, if New York falls, most of the rest of the country can’t really be far behind. Building up US online poker through satellites US online poker operators are already doing everything they can to revive the game stateside. A number of offshore sites that used to operate in the US built up the original online poker market through offering online satellites to live events. Now, sites like PokerStars and playMGM are trying to follow that same path in New Jersey. PokerStars NJ offered at least one satellite to its popular PokerStars Caribbean Adventure event in the Bahamas this year. Meanwhile, playMGM has been running a series of online satellites into a World Poker Tour event in Las Vegas. Plus, the WSOP.com satellites into live WSOP bracelet events are among that site’s most popular and are growing every year. Live poker events have grown in PA over the past few years. The Big Stax series at Parx is increasing in popularity and the annual WSOP Circuit event at Harrah’s Philadelphia is well-attended. It’s easy to see how PA online poker sites might look to the local satellite market as a way of growing from the ground up. It’s also easy to see how if all goes according to plan, PA will soon be seen as the catalyst for re-energizing the online poker market across the US. Image credit: Willrow Hood / Shutterstock.com

Contents
1 How PokerStars will fit into the legal PA online poker landscape
2 What the tax structure looks like for PA iGaming PokerStars is an online gambling titan in New Jersey. Now, it’s setting its sights on Pennsylvania online gambling. Earlier this month, Stars Group CEO Rafi Ashkenazi said during the company’s third-quarter earnings call that PokerStars is ready to offer online gambling in PA. “We are poised to take advantage of the positive momentum in the growth of online gaming globally and the continued march towards regulation, including in the United States where we aim to be among the first operators to launch in Pennsylvania when that state opens its door to online poker and casino,” Ashkenazi said. How PokerStars will fit into the legal PA online poker landscape The Pennsylvania gambling expansion bill passed at the end of October legalized online gambling, an umbrella term that includes PA online poker, slots, and table games. Each type of online gambling will require a license, which means the law opened up a total of 36 permits for the state’s 12 brick-and-mortar casinos. Within the first 90 days of the permits becoming available, casinos can purchase all three licenses for $10 million. Once the 90 days have passed, the price will go up to $4 million per license. Should PokerStars operate in the state, it will have to pay a $1 million fee to do so. What the tax structure looks like for PA iGaming Projections show the average tax rates for Pennsylvania’s online gambling products will be 42 percent. That breaks down to 67.5 percent for slots, 22.5 percent of table games, and 10 percent for poker. However, that tax rate isn’t the only fee PA casinos will pay. According to estimates, once taxes, administrative needs, regulatory fees, advertising, marketing, and payment processing are taken care of, casinos will be left with approximately five percent of the money generated through their online gambling sites. As for the state, Harrisburg should see $400 million from Pennsylvania online gambling in the first five years. That number includes $120 million from the licensing fees mentioned earlier, revenue tax, and fees associated with casinos and operators renewing their licensing fees. The projections are that Pennsylvania’s online gambling market will grow from $154 million in Year 1 to $275 million in Year 5. These numbers take into account Pennsylvania joining a player pool with the other states currently offering legal online poker: Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada.

Contents
1 How opt-outs will work
2 Arguments for satellite casinos in Pennsylvania
3 Arguments against satellite casinos in Pennsylvania Various townships and boroughs across Pennsylvania are debating if they want satellite casinos in their communities. Amid all the legalese of the recent gambling expansion bill that includes satellite casinos (and PA online gambling), a new Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) resolution notes that cities, boroughs, townships, and incorporated towns have the ability, by law, to opt out. Information and guidelines for opting out, as well as locales that have declined to host satellite casinos, are available here. How opt-outs will work The PGCB says opting out will take place through a two-step process. First, its manual says, “The governing body of the municipality should officially adopt the Resolution at a public meeting.” (That meeting must be in accordance with the state’s rules for meetings.) From there, the decisions must be mailed to the PGCB’s Harrisburg address. The resolution also notes that the PGCB recommends opt-out letters include a reference to the legislation that allows each municipality to opt out, the date of the governing body’s decisions, and any necessary seals or signatures to make the decision official. Arguments for satellite casinos in Pennsylvania Proponents of satellite casinos say they’ll bring in millions in revenue. Up to 750 slot machines are allowed at each location. And it’s worth noting that Pennsylvania’s slot taxes are the highest in the nation at 54 percent. This means satellite casinos will be formidable revenue earners for the state’s various funds. The state’s ailing coffers will receive a nice boost with the 10 satellite casino licenses up for grabs. They will be auctioned off with opening bids starting at $7 million. Plus, these satellite casinos can purchase a $2.5 million license to allow table games. From the gambler’s perspective, more casinos across the state means reduced commuting from home to tables. Arguments against satellite casinos in Pennsylvania The flip side of the argument is that even though satellites can’t be built within 25 miles of an existing casino, there’s bound to be some cannibalization. But the argument, according to Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, isn’t so much that it will lose gamblers to other casinos, but that those lost gamblers will reduce race purses. Smaller purses aren’t good for race tracks. While the bill allots money from expanded gambling revenue to struggling casinos, that money won’t go directly to race purses. “If our business was to decline, the brick and mortar or Hollywood Casino, we would be giving less to the horse racing purse fund,” a Hollywood vice presient told ABC 27. “For satellite casinos, it’s not written or designated that any of their money would be for horse racing purses.”

The gambling expansion bill signed by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf at the end of October includes in it the legislative thumbs-up for sports betting. The catch? The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) doesn’t allow sports betting in Pennsylvania because the state didn’t have it when PASPA was signed. So, in order for sports betting to take place in Pennsylvania, PASPA needs to be overturned. Up until 2017, the thought that PASPA would be dissolved was merely conjecture. That changed when, earlier this year, the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to hear the appeal of New Jersey and its Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. The two parties fought their way through the legal system to the highest court in the land in an effort to bring legal sports wagering to the Garden State. The state and the association are arguing that PASPA violates what’s known as the anti-commandeering principle. This is an aspect of the 10th Amendment asserting that Congress can’t pass laws violating states’ right to pass their own laws. A brief the state filed earlier this year put it this way: “PASPA compels States to regulate—indeed, prohibit—sports wagering and therefore exceeds Congress’s authority.” Will SCOTUS overturn PASPA? Trends say yes Over the past few months, there have been several studies that indicate public sentiment about sports betting has changed, namely in the way that Americans seem to have stopped viewing it as a scourge. The most notable of these studies was one highlighted in a Washington Post article that pointed out that, for the first time since PASPA kicked in in 1993, the public is in favor of sports betting. A few weeks later, think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute indicated that New Jersey will be the first of many states to legalize sports betting once PASPA falls. The organization’s report addressed the anti-commandeering principle. It further noted that PASPA’s initial intent — curbing illegal sports betting by regulating legal sports betting — failed in the midst of a multi-billion black-market gambling economy in the US. “No matter how one feels about sports betting or any other issue in particular, the importance of preserving the states’ right to make their own decisions on these matters should be painfully clear,” the report said. “PASPA has failed to stop the spread of illegal sports gambling, prompted the rise of an enormous gambling black market, increased criminals’ profits, prevented states from raising millions in tax revenue and enacting consumer protections.” SCOTUS will hear the case on Dec. 4 and make a decision by the beginning of next summer. At that point, we’ll know the extent to which PA can apply its theoretical legalization of sports betting.

Contents
1 PA’s comprehensive gambling expansion
2 Which states will be next to legalize online gambling?
2.1 California
2.2 New York
2.3 Illinois
2.4 Michigan
2.5 Massachusetts
2.6 New Hampshire and West Virginia
3 PA stands alone When Pennsylvania officially became the fourth US state to legalize online gambling last month, it immediately spawned great interest in which state will be next. Several states are considering or have considered joining Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada in legalizing online gambling in one form or another in 2017, including:
California
New York
Illinois
Massachusetts
Michigan
New Hampshire
West Virginia While it appears none of these seven states will get online gambling laws on the books this year, they would have to be considered the favorites to be the next do so. The question is: Will they go as far as Pennsylvania has? PA’s comprehensive gambling expansion Online gambling laws passed in PA as a part of a comprehensive gambling expansion package. The new law makes it legal to operate online slot machines, online table games and online poker throughout the state. Plus, the other gambling expansion initiatives attached include:
Daily fantasy sports
Online lottery sales
Video gaming terminals at truck stops
Tablet gaming in airports
Up to ten satellite casinos at under-serviced locations
Sports betting (should it be legalized federally) Since it first approved the operation of slot machines in 2004 and table games in 2010, PA has grown into the second largest casino revenue generating state in the country, next to Nevada. In fact, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board claims the state’s 10 stand-alone and racetrack casinos, and two smaller resort casinos, generate close to $1.4 billion in tax revenue from slot machines and table games annually. The new gambling expansion initiatives, including PA internet gambling, are aimed at growing that number exponentially. The big dollar figures PA gambling is already pumping out, and the new ones the state is hoping to create, may be extremely attractive to lawmakers from other states. However, it’s doubtful they’ll want to follow Pennsylvania’s lead in such a comprehensive manner. Which states will be next to legalize online gambling? California Up to now, California has only considered standalone legislation for online poker. Plus, it has been such a contentious issue with so many different stakeholders, including dozens of card room operators and tribal casinos, the state has failed to come to any kind of consensus as to how it will work. Adding further gambling expansion initiatives to the mix would only confuse things further. New York On the other side of the country, New York appears poised to get online gambling legislation on the books next year. Bills brought to the floor this year will get a head start in 2018 thanks to changes in legislative procedures in the state. However, these are online poker-only bills, and lawmakers in the state are committed to a step-by-step approach when it comes to gambling. So that would likely rule out any kind of comprehensive expansion. Plus, NY just expanded gambling in the state by issuing its first four commercial casino licenses. Further gambling expansion will likely have to wait until the state has seen the impact of all that. Illinois Illinois was looking at bills that would legalize online gambling, poker and daily fantasy sports. The session just ended without any movement on that legislation. Further gambling expansion beyond those products is doubtful. Plans to build a casino in the city of Chicago have been so contentious over the years, they stall everything. Michigan Michigan is also considering online casino and poker legislation. However, the state already runs online lottery sales and isn’t looking at any further gambling expansion besides online casinos. Massachusetts In the meantime, the construction of two commercial casinos is underway Massachusetts. As a result, it looks like that state will be waiting to see the impact of of these properties before going online. New Hampshire and West Virginia The bills put forward in New Hampshire and West Virginia are also online gambling-only. In fact, these bills aren’t likely to be attached to any kind of further gambling expansion. PA stands alone It’s highly likely that one of these seven states will become the fifth in the country to pass some form of online gambling legislation in the very near future. However, it’s just as likely that fifth state to pass online gambling legislation will not do anything like the comprehensive gambling expansion seen in PA. Unless some state comes out of nowhere to surprise everyone, that is.

Contents
1 New forms of gaming coming to Keystone State
2 In Wolf’s words…
3 Not everyone is thrilled about PA gambling changes
4 Time for legal online casinos in PA has come Even with support from the Pennsylvania House and the Senate, skeptics weren’t sure what Gov. Tom Wolf would do with H 271, the state’s sweeping gaming expansion. After much tweaking and amending, the Pennsylvania Senate approved the bill 31-19, legalizing online poker and gambling throughout the state. On Oct. 26, the House approved the bill by a vote of 109-72. The governor signed the bill into law shortly before the 10-day waiting period expired, on Oct. 30. Pennsylvania is the fourth state to legalize online poker and casino games, following New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada. The government expects additional revenues brought in by this bill are around $250 million. A key sticking point for Wolf was to make sure that this new revenue did not cannibalize Pennsylvania’s existing gaming industry. New forms of gaming coming to Keystone State The bill legalizes online slot machines, online table games, and online poker throughout Pennsylvania. It also regulates daily fantasy sports, sports betting (if federally legalized), online lottery, video gaming terminals at truck stops, and tablet gaming in airports. Companies like FanDuel and DraftKings were all smiles about the new bill, even considering the tax rate of 15 percent is on the higher end for companies operating daily fantasy sports. The initial license fee is $10,000. Truckers and truck stop operators seem to have mixed reviews regarding the legalized video gaming terminals. While they would welcome the additional revenue and the occasional break for entertainment, many caution against the dangers of gambling and the lack of space to accommodate any new gaming customers. It also authorizes up to ten satellite casinos, which are micro-footprint gambling centers set up in lower population zones. Penn National made it clear it is worried that these smaller gaming centers will take business away from its strategic geographic positions. Additionally, the bill changes Category 3 licenses to remove the membership fee for a higher one-time fee. In Wolf’s words… Wolf spoke in blanket terms regarding H 271. Wolf was quoted in CapitolWire: While never taking an outspoken stance on the issue, his words regarding Pennsylvania online gaming have always been consistent. His message seems to be that as long as it doesn’t disrupt Pennsylvania’s current gaming industry, online gaming makes perfect sense as a means of adding revenue to the budget. Not everyone is thrilled about PA gambling changes Still, opponents of the bill are skeptical of the money it can provide, as well as the claim that it won’t hurt existing business. Of course, online gaming expansion is just a small part of the larger picture. When the entire state budget is on the line, of course there are going to be some heated arguments. Maybe the biggest red flag includes the plan to issue $1.5 billion in bonds to cover the remaining shortfall. But that puts online gambling into perspective: It’s one of the best opportunities Pennsylvania has to balance its budget. Time for legal online casinos in PA has come Regardless of the political reasons, it is evident that online gaming makes sense for Pennsylvania. Proactively welcoming these online business models to Pennsylvania puts the state in a great position to increase revenue in the future, should the demand of the market dictate that. In fact, considering that Pennsylvania has the second-highest gambling revenue after Nevada, it would be foolish to deny online gaming companies an opportunity to operate in the state. Image credit: George Sheldon / Shutterstock.com

Contents
1 VGTs could lead to sleepless nights
2 Not every truck stop will qualify for VGTs Truck stops just got a little more interesting last week. The recently-passed Pennsylvania gambling expansion law contained many new bits of legislation, one of them being the introduction of video gaming terminals (VGTs) into truck stops. The state’s coffers are happy; more VGTs means more revenue. Casinos, not so much; more VGTs means less foot traffic on their gambling floors. Truck stops and truckers? That’s an interesting one, according to Pennsylvania newspaper The Daily Item, which interviewed truckers and employees at a PA Flying J truck stop. “Truck drivers now are mandated to spend hours resting and they need something to do,” employee Randy Snyder told the paper. “They get bored. I’ve seen some people play these non-lottery games for hours. I believe they’d welcome another diversion. It would be a good way to pass the time.” The Morning Call talked with a trucker named Barb McDonald, who agreed with Snyder. “I think it’s great. Drivers can sit and gamble when they have their breaks,” McDonald said, going on to point out that a trucker’s break is 10 hours. VGTs could lead to sleepless nights As Snyder mentioned in his defense of VGTs, truckers are mandated to rest for a certain number of hours each day. Truck stops like Flying J provide a place for that rest to take place. Truckers can park their rigs in designated spots, fill up on gas, take hot showers and get a hot meal. Only problem is, the presence of VGTs could pull truckers away from their bunks and into a night-long poker binge. One trucker told the The Daily Item he didn’t object to VGTs being in truck stop, but he’s concerned that truckers won’t use their resting time for resting. Not every truck stop will qualify for VGTs The new Pennsylvania gambling legislation is pretty specific about which truck stops are allowed to have VGTs and which one’s won’t. First, it’s important to point out that eligible locations will be allowed to have up to five video poker terminals. Second, truck stops will have to meet the following requires in order to be eligible for video gaming:
Average diesel sales of $50,000 per year
At least 20 truck parking spots
Property includes a convenience store
At least three acres of non-turnpike land These regulations do the obvious work of making sure a business is a legitimate truck stop and not a gas station parading as a truck stop just to get their video poker terminals.