Here’s yer table games update

When lawmakers return to Harrisburg tomorrow, table games will be topic number one.

(That’s a sentence you’ve read a lot since October, huh?)

The driving force behind this week’s action will be a compromise hammered out by legislative leaders in late December. According to numerous reports, the deal would create a new category three “resort casino” license in 2017, as well as reopen bidding on the outstanding license that already exists. PLS/PoliticsPA’s Alex Roarty reports, “the license fee for category one and two casinos would remain $16.5 million, and category three licenses would stay $7.5 million. The bill sets a state tax rate of 14 percent this year that drops to 12 percent in 2011. It also mandates a two percent local-share levy for counties and municipalities.”

Speaking to reporters in the hallway, House Majority Leader Todd Eachus confirmed a deal, and said he’s hoping for a final vote on “Wednesday or Thursday.” He says House members will be briefed on the agreement tomorrow. He’ll push for a non-concurrence vote on the Senate’s table games bill as soon as the session gets underway, and will then work to set up a joint House-Senate conference committee to implement the agreement’s details.

Meantime, the Rendell Administration is laying groundwork for the mass state worker layoffs the governor says will be needed if the bill doesn’t pass by week’s end. Secretary of Administration Naomi Wyatt has sent a memo to cabinet secretaries spelling out how many people each department should let go. 333 Department of Public Welfare employees would be furloughed, according to her guidelines. Corrections and the State Police would also be hit hard, with 299 and 112 respective furloughs. Four more people would be severed from the already hard-hit Historical and Museum Commission. In all, Wyatt is calling for 995 layoffs – just under the thousand promised by Rendell.

About pubradiopolitics
Scott covers state government and politics for Pennsylvania's public radio stations, including WITF in Harrisburg, WHYY in Philadelphia and WDUQ in Pittsburgh.

2 Responses to Here’s yer table games update

  1. First of all, I want to congratulate Governor Rendell and the State of Pennsylvania, for passing the bill allowing table games. I am a certified poker instructor, and I have been training poker dealers for over thirty years. I have a message of importance that I wish to convey to Governor Rendell. In recent months, I have trained a few students that are residents of Pennsylvania. I was impressed with the enthusiastic response that we got from residents all across Pennsylvania. A couple students actually made the trip from Erie to Buffalo four days a week. Two other students from Wilkes-Barre and one from Mt Carmel, are taking our poker dealer course on-line. I have a lot that I want to say, but I think I can get my message across by getting right to the point. Please, Mr Rendell, lets see what we can do to teach the residents of Pennsylvania. The alternative, bringing in dealers from neighboring states, defeats the objective of the new bill. I am currently employed by World Wide Gaming Consultants. Together, we can teach the residents of Pennsylvania and reduce the number of unemployed. We are working with learning institutes in Pennsylvania to begin teaching as soon as possible. Governor Rendell, only you can get the message out to the local gaming institutes that the great majority of employees must be residents of Pennsylvania. Supervisors and consultants will be brought in from casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, because of their expertice and experience, but the dealers should be Pennsilvania residents.
    Nick Ciavarella
    Poker Dealer Instructor
    World Wide Gaming Consultants

  2. First of all, I want to congratulate Governor Rendell and the State of Pennsylvania, for passing the bill allowing table games. I am a certified poker instructor, and I have been training poker dealers for over thirty years. I have a message of importance that I wish to convey to Governor Rendell. In recent months, I have trained a few students that are residents of Pennsylvania. I was impressed with the enthusiastic response that we got from residents all across Pennsylvania. A couple students actually made the trip from Erie to Buffalo four days a week. Two other students from Wilkes-Barre and one from Mt Carmel, are taking our poker dealer course on-line. I have a lot that I want to say, but I think I can get my message across by getting right to the point. Please, Mr Rendell, lets see what we can do to teach the residents of Pennsylvania. The alternative, bringing in dealers from neighboring states, defeats the objective of the new bill. I am currently employed by World Wide Gaming Consultants. Together, we can teach the residents of Pennsylvania and reduce the number of unemployed. We are working with learning institutes in Pennsylvania to begin teaching as soon as possible. Governor Rendell, only you can get the message out to the local gaming institutes that the great majority of employees must be residents of Pennsylvania. Supervisors and consultants will be brought in from casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, because of their expertice and experience, but the dealers should be Pennsylvania residents.
    Nick Ciavarella
    Poker Dealer Instructor
    World Wide Gaming Consultants

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