Kinsey condemns gambling expansion bill

HARRISBURG, June 7 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., today voted against legislation that would dramatically expand gambling in Pennsylvania.

Kinsey said the expansion would not only saturate the gambling market at the expense of the Pennsylvania Lottery and the senior citizens programs it supports, it would further threaten the safety and quality of life of residents in the neighborhoods he serves and throughout Philadelphia. 

House Bill 271 includes authorizing up to 30,000 locations for video gaming terminals at licensed liquor retailers and establishments by the end of 2018 and 40,000 by 2020, as well as gambling tablets or “iGaming” at Pennsylvania’s six international airports, including Philadelphia.

Kinsey said the "stop and go" liquor businesses that have been such a problem in Philadelphia would be eligible and that there is no distribution formula for ensuring that Philadelphia neighborhoods are not saddled with the majority of machines.  

“Communities in Philadelphia are sick and tired of being targeted by businesses from outside the commonwealth that come to our communities to deteriorate them,” Kinsey said. “I’m opposed to this legislation because in addition to deteriorating our communities, this legislation will damage the property tax relief seniors need to stay in their homes, programs that help senior citizens afford prescriptions and transportation services across the commonwealth, slashing nearly $500 million dollars over five years.”