From the PathwaysPA (http://www.pathwayspa.org):
With only a month to go before the next year’s budget objectives are announced, the Governor signed a bill legalizing table games at Pennsylvania’s slot casinos on Thursday. The table games include poker, blackjack, and roulette.
According to a January 7 ABC news report (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=9500657), the new law is expected to generate millions in license fees to close a gap in the current year’s budget, and to produce revenues for state and local governments in future years. Passage of the bill also prevents the Governor’s proposed layoff of 1,000 state workers.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on January 7 (http://www.philly.com/philly/news/homepage/80881542.html) that according to the bill, table games would be taxed at a rate of 16 percent, with 14 percent going directly to the state and 1 percent to each the casino’s county and its municipality. The state’s share would go to the general fund to fill budget shortfalls until the state’s Rainy Day Fund reaches $750 million. After that, all table-game revenue will go toward property-tax relief. $3 million will be set aside for gambling and other addiction treatment programs.
It is expected to take between six to nine months to get the table games up and running.
For the record, the Council opposed the addition of table games and continues to oppose all expansion of gambling in Pennsylvania.