Tom Knox, the millionaire businessman who finished second behind Michael Nutter in the 2007 Democratic primary election for mayor, is now in the hunt for the Democratic gubernatorial primary election for next year. And Knox, who is staking positions while other potential candidates are poking around, is campaigning hard to expand casinos in the state to include table games. Consider this opinion piece he had published in yesterday's Morning Call of Allentown.
The state General Assembly approved in July 2004 Gov. Rendell's call for legalized slot machines at 14 casinos across the state. Rendell has resisted efforts since then to add table games, saying he wants all the casinos up and operating before any changes are made to gambling laws. Two casinos approved in December 2006 for Philadelphia are nowhere near ready to open. SugarHouse hopes to open in Fishtown by mid-2010. Foxwoods, which plans to relocate from South Philly to Center City, can't get its act together.
Knox says the state shouldn't wait -- that table games will provide jobs and taxes for the state. "The simple act of legalizing table games at each licensed casino will create, literally overnight, the demand for thousands of new employees," Knox wrote in the Morning Call piece.
UPDATE, 4:15 pm: Speaking of which, the state House Gaming Oversight Committee just announced that it will hold a hearing tomorrow morning in Harrisburg where the results of a study on the impact of table games will be released. You can read the news release about that after the jump.