Yet another bid for more gambling in Pennsylvania

A bill introduced last week by Rep Eddie Day Pashinski (D., Luzerne) would allow video poker machines in bars and other establishments with a liquor license. The proposal comes as state officials are preparing for the rollout of old-fashioned gambling in taverns in the form of raffles, daily drawings, and pull-tabs.

Pashinski's bill would make the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue the primary regulator and link the machines, which could also offer bingo, keno, blackjack, and other games, directly into the state lottery's computers to keep track of the money.

The cash split would be 45 percent for property tax rebates, 23 percent to the bar owner, 22 percent to the supplier of the gambling machine, 5 percent for the host municipality, and 5 percent to licensed casinos, according to an article in the Citizens' Voice.

A memo published last March said the casinos' cut would "provide considerable money to our casino industry to justify the institution of this new program."

Pashinski's video gambling bill would lower one legal bar for getting a license. It forbids video-gaming licenses for anyone convicted of a felony in the last 10 years. The standard for casino operators and bar owners seeking a tavern gaming license is 15 years.

Philadelphia representatives Mark B. Cohen and Rosita C. Youngblood are co-sponsors.