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State Senate Approves Small Games Law For Bars; House Democrats Say, “Hold On!”

October 24, 2013

State Senators on Wednesday passed without debate a measure that would allow “small games of chance” gambling at Pennsylvania’s bars.

The state House, though, nearly immediately expressed concerns about the rush to pass the bill by its Republican Senate sponsors.  And, Governor Tom Corbett’s office said Corbett wants to make sure that the tax revenue that would be generated through such games would be directed to state programs for the elderly, as are the proceeds from the Pennsylvania Lottery.

In the House, lawmakers, especially Democrats, projected strong dissent from private social, fraternal and veterans organizations.  And, as House Democratic spokesman Bill Patton put it, “Members on our side have learned from experience that (a rush to passage) means something is up.”

The Senate vote in favor of the “small games for bars” bill was 39-11.

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