New Slot Machine Law Approved
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by: Gene Koprowski. Slots, Online casino gambling articles.
Pennsylvania's House of Representatives this week unanimously approved changes in a proposed law governing slot machines in the state, and sent the new measure to the state's Senate for its approval.
If the changes are assented to by the Senate, the bill will be sent to Gov. Ed Rendell (D), the former mayor of Philadelphia, and a power player in national Democratic politics, often considered a potential vice-presidential nominee, for his signature.

House Majority Leader Samuel Smith (R) said many in the House were quite "dissatisfied" with the Senate's earlier version of the bill. But time is running out for further amendments, as the state's legislative session ends on Nov. 30. "If we amend this bill, then it will be sitting in the Senate in the lame-duck session, and at that juncture, all bets are off," said Smith. "There's a limit to how many times we can bounce this ball back and forth."

Senators were mulling their next moves, and were expected to announce a new plan for additional changes to the law this week, said Erik Arneson, chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader David J. Brightbill (R).
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Gambling-Law Revisions
The Senate last week passed its own new version of the gambling law changes, as members scurried to finish their business, and even adjourned until after the Nov. 7 election, hoping they could go out and hustle up votes for reelection.
Both houses of the state legislature have already agreed to changes that  would remove an onerous requirement that slot machine manufacturers sell through an in-state distributor, according to experts.

Another new provision in the law would require casino developers to follow local zoning procedures, including Philadelphia, and allow any zoning appeals to go to the state's Supreme Court.

But there have been disagreements over other parts of the proposed law. The version the House approved states that casinos must abide by anti-smoking laws, if such laws are on the books of local communities in which they do business. There is also a controversial provision, which would prohibit campaign contributions from casino industry executives to Pennsylvania politicians. But, experts said, this may be an unconstitutional infringement on free speech and the right to petition the government for redress of grievances, which is provided for in the U.S. Constitution.

The original law, which was passed in July 2004, legalized up to 61,000 slot machines at 14 sites throughout Pennsylvania.

Mr. Gene Koprowski, (Master of Liberal Arts -- The University of Chicago) is a 2005 Lilly Endowment Award Winner for his columns for United Press International.

© Copyright 2006 Gene Koprowski's material. It may not be published, broadcasted, rewritten, or redistributed.

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