Harkins reappointed Democratic chair of House Gaming Oversight Committee

Excited to resume leadership role as state gaming sets new records

ERIE, Aug. 19 – State Rep. Pat Harkins announced today that he has been reappointed Democratic chairman of the House Gaming Oversight Committee.

Although he is not new to the role – Harkins served as Democratic chair of the committee during the 2017-18 legislative session – he said he is especially excited to be returning now, at a time when state gaming revenue is setting new records.  

“Pennsylvania’s gaming industry is shattering records,” said Harkins. “This week, the state Gaming Control Board reported that combined total revenue for July from all forms of gaming topped $423 million – the highest monthly revenue recorded for regulated games. That’s on top of last month’s news that gaming brought a record $3.9 billion over the past fiscal year.”

Harkins said casino revenue showed especially strong gains from last summer to this one, with Erie’s own Presque Isle Downs and Casino reporting a 40% increase.

“It’s great to see casinos rebounding after being shuttered by the pandemic, especially because gaming funds so many critical areas, from property tax relief to seniors’ programs to local government services and contributions to the state’s General Fund,” Harkins said. “But there are issues – including protecting those vulnerable to the risk of addiction and rooting out competition from illegal, unlicensed machines – that require attention.

“I’m looking forward to working with the committee and members of the state Gaming Control Board to protect this vital industry in all forms – from casinos to slots to online gaming and sports betting – and ensure it continues growing responsibly in ways that benefit Pennsylvania’s taxpayers.”

Sources of gaming revenue regulated by the board include slot machines, table games, internet casino-type gaming, sports wagering, fantasy contents and video gaming terminals. More information is available here.