Pennsylvania Gambling

Pennsylvania Casinos

As of right now in 2008 there is only one stand alone casino (stand alone casinos being a casino that isn’t at a racetrack or a cruise) and it is the Mount Airy Casino Resort in Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania. It has 2,523 gaming machines, and was approved on September 27, 2006. It officially opened for business on October 22, 2007. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was given permission to give 14 casino gaming licenses, but only for slot machines, not table games. Individually, seven of the licenses are able to be used on already existing horse racetracks, an additional five may be used at stand alone casinos, and the remaining two can be given to existing hotel resorts. All of the places can have up to 5,000 gaming machines, excluding the final two which may only have 500. In addition to this two out of the five stand alone casinos must be located in Philadelphia, while one must be Pittsburgh, and the final two are at large.

The same day that Mount Airy Casino Resort was approved four other stand alone casinos gained approval and are on there way to being opened. Foxwoods Casino in Philadelphia will be opening in November 2008, SugarHouse Casino will also be in Philadelphia and will be opening in April 2009, Majestic Star Casino will be in Pittsburgh and is scheduled to open in May 2009, and Sands BethWorks will be in Bethlehem opening in the second quarter in 2009. The gaming machines produce money for many things including economic development, tourism, property tax relief, and establishments for the local governments of gambling. It is estimated that slot machine gambling has produced several thousand new jobs. The current state gambling board has a total of seven members. Out of those seven four are given appointment by legislative caucus leaders. The other three are hand picked by the state governor.

Current governor Jeffrey Piccola has put the idea out that the board be reduced to five members all of which would be picked y the governor himself. The hope is that these changes will give the state more control over the gaming industry.

Pennsylvania Lottery

Given the go ahead on August 26, 1971 the Pennsylvania Lottery debuted on March 7, 1972. The prize at the time was $1 million and the ticket price was 50 cents for a weekly drawing. The Pennsylvania Lottery is unique in that all of its proceed programs go to older residents. Property tax and rent rebates, low cost prescription drug programs, and long term care services, are just a few of things that the $17.4 billion the Pennsylvania Lottery has contributed to. The minimum age for buying a lottery ticket in Pennsylvania is 18, though an adult may buy a ticket as a gift for a minor.

Pennsylvania Bingo

Bingo halls are in abundance in Pennsylvania as it appears to have fairly lenient bingo laws compared to other states. You must be at least 18 years of age to play bingo in Pennsylvania unless the you attend with your parent or guardian.

Pennsylvania Pari-Mutuel betting

Casino racetracks, or more affectionately known as racinos, are the main places to do gambling in Pennsylvania. (Racetracks without casino gambling are race tracks; racetracks with casino gambling, most often gaming machines, are called casino race tracks or racinos.) In September of 2006 the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board decided to give 6 temporary casino licences to racetracks. In December of 2006 the racetracks were given permanent casino licenses. Two of the six racetrack casinos have table games including poker, but this is expected to grow in the coming years.

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