GOP lawmakers eye gambling expansion to close deficit

Written by The Associated Press | Oct 12, 2015 2:59 AM

(Harrisburg) -- Republican lawmakers are taking steps toward the state's third expansion of gambling in six years as a source of cash before they raise taxes to balance a deep budget deficit. 

Supporters estimate it could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in license fees plus collections from taxing a new stream of gambling profits. 

A spokesman says Gov. Tom Wolf is open to a gambling expansion, if it's part of a comprehensive package that resolves what his administration projects to be a multibillion-dollar long-term deficit.

Top Democratic lawmakers have yet to voice support. 

One idea is Internet gambling, which is legal only in Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada.

There's also a possibility of allowing casinos to station slot machines at off-track horse-racing betting parlors and Pennsylvania's six international airports.  

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