Monday, July 6, 2015

Rendell Approves Table Games With Misgivings & Relief

Gov. Rendell just signed into law a bill passed by the state General Assembly this week to allow casinos to add table games such as blackjack, poker and roulette. Rendell told reporters in the capitol that he the bill left him with both "serious misgivings" and a "sense of relief."

Rendell Approves Table Games With Misgivings & Relief

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Table games, such as the roulette wheel shown here at Resorts Atlantic City casino, have been legalized in Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Mary Godleski)
Table games, such as the roulette wheel shown here at Resorts Atlantic City casino, have been legalized in Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Mary Godleski)
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Gov. Rendell just signed into law a bill passed by the state General Assembly this week to allow casinos in Pennsylvania to add table games such as blackjack, poker and roulette.  Rendell told reporters in the capitol the bill left him with both "serious misgivings" and a "sense of relief."

The misgivings involve his preference that all of the state's 14 casinos -- including two in Philadelphia -- get up and running before any expansion of gambling. He also worries about funding for specific projects that some legislators wrote into the table games bill.  The relief comes from the $250 million in table-game taxes expected from the new law, which will end the need to lay off 995 state employees and avoid serious cuts into several programs.

Rendell took particular issue with a section of the law that preempts Philadelphia's indoor smoking ban at two casinos planned in the city.  "I don't think its an improvement to take away Philadelphia's right to set its own rules on smoking," he said. "That part of the bill bothers me."

But Rendell was fine with a provision written to potentially give Foxwoods, planned for the banks of the Delaware River in South Philadelphia, more time to get the long-delayed project moving.  "In many instances, the delays in Philadelphia were not caused by the casinos themselves," Rendell said.  That's a clear reference to legal and legislative challenges thrown up by City Council and community groups opposed to the casino locations.

More coverage
 
Commonwealth Confidential: Rendell signs table games law 'with reservations'
 
Table games, Foxwoods win big
Table games: Good or bad for Pa.?
Good
Bad
Indifferent
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William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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