(Jun 22, 2016)
HARRISBURG, June 22 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., today said he voted against an amendment that would have resulted in an explosion of gambling across the commonwealth because it would harm Philadelphia and further embolden nuisance bars throughout the city.
“I don’t have a problem with gaming,” said Neilson, who is the only Philadelphia member to sit on the House Gaming Oversight Committee. “I do take issue with any legislation that would allow 75,000 video gaming terminals to pop up across the state basically overnight.”
House Bill 2150 was originally introduced to regulate the fantasy sports industry in Pennsylvania and protect consumers using their services. However, an amendment, which Neilson opposed, was offered in the House that would have allowed the use of video gaming terminals at liquor establishments and truck stops. That amendment was unsuccessful.
“If the VGT legislation had been amended into this bill and it became law, obviously revenues from the casinos and the lottery would have been affected, which would have directly impacted the amount of funds available for property tax relief and senior programs like PACE. Even a 10 percent loss in casino revenues, which I think is a modest estimate, would have led to serious funding issues and the inevitable loss of casino jobs,” Neilson said. “We have seen that trend in every state that has allowed these machines to take root in their communities. But my largest concern has been and continues to be about t Read more