Four Pennsylvania state senators are seeking support for legislation that would put regulatory oversight of horse racing under the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and make other changes in policy.
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, at a Jan. 27 news conference, said he was tired of the legislature's inability to pass a gambling bill and was fashioning his own bill to authorize slot machines at 12 locations in the state.
Pennsylvania Sen. Robert "Tommy" Tomlinson, whose district includes Philadelphia Park in Bensalem, is planning to reintroduce a slot-machine bill as early as the week of Oct. 20, according to a report in the Bucks County Courier Times.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has proposed that racetrack slot machines produce $1 billion in revenue, way up from the $400 million projected for this fiscal year in legislation approved by the state Senate.
The Pennsylvania Senate, on a 27-22 vote the evening of June 25, approved legislation to authorize racetrack slot machines. Now, the measure goes to the House of Representatives.
A pivotal week for slot-machine legislation in Pennsylvania is ahead as the Senate is expected to debate a plan to legalize the devices at the state's racetracks, possibly May 12-13. Supporters of slots are planning to "leapfrog" a potentially hostile committee vote by putting the legislation on the floor as an amendment to another bill, according to the Associated Press.
Organizations that represent Thoroughbred horsemen in Pennsylvania have voiced opposition to racetrack gaming legislation because the return to purses and breed development is insufficient in their view.
The Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association is opposed to a racetrack gaming bill that would award 15% of gross revenue to purses and 1% to breed development. Meanwhile, an official at Philadelphia Park said he can't understand the horsemen's position.
Purse accounts at Pennsylvania racetracks would earn 21.5% of gross revenue from track-based slot machines under legislation introduced Feb. 26 by Sen. Robert Tomlinson, whose district includes Philadelphia Park.
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