Pennsylvania is prepared to significantly expand its gambling rights. A bill that received bipartisan support, approved 109-72 in the House, arrived on Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk Thursday, and politicians are waiting to see if the governor will sign or veto it. His office said the governor would make a decision in the next several days, according to the Philadelphia Tribune.

The bill would allow casino gambling at transient locations such as airports and truck stops, as well as allowing both lottery and casino games online and allowing the Pennsylvania Lottery to allow keno games.

It would legalize online fantasy football and the ability to buy lottery tickets online. In addition, it would remove a limit on casino ownership currently in place.

Revenue share plans

The bill also reinstates a “community pot” style share that casinos pay to municipalities, which was removed last year following a lawsuit by the Mount Airy Casino Resort. However, the reinstituted share requires a greater share from successful casinos.

However, opponents say the bill has too many favors and deals. One part of the bill will prevent the construction of mini-casinos around the Mount Airy Casino. The deal prevents competition from developing around the casino, which was created by Pennsylvania billionaire Louis DeNaples, although he no longer owns the company.

Scott Petri, chairman of the House Gaming Oversight Committee, said the bill was too broad and defined "truck stop" too loosely. “You literally could drive a truck through the definition and its ability to be misused,” he said, according to WPVI.

Gambling is currently a $3 billion industry in Pennsylvania. The legislation passed a $32 billion spending bill this year with a $2.2 billion deficit.

Lawmakers are hoping the expanded gambling revenue will help to close the gap, according to The Morning Call.

New machines

Earlier this year, Wolf said the state should try to generate “real” revenue using new machines, such as SCR888, rather than relying on relocating gambling income. “I don’t want anything that we do in gaming or gambling to interfere with the revenues that are already in place.

If it just cannibalizes and takes from one bucket called gambling to another, the commonwealth isn’t doing anything more than it has in the past,” he said in June, according to Casino.

However, House Majority Leader Dave Reed said Thursday that the bill does have the potential to create long-term revenue. “The gaming revenue has that possibility of becoming the recurring revenue that comes in — not just a one-time shot,” he said, according to WESA.

The Pennsylvania legislature has attempted multiple times in recent years to pass similar bills without success.