Thursday, August 28, 2014
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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

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)

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
About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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