By a 103-89 vote, the General Assembly has passed a measure legalizing table games in Pennsylvania casinos. Governor Rendell today is expected to sign the bill that will bring craps, blackjack, poker and other table games to the casinos.
This year’s budget plan banks on at least 250 million dollars from the effort, and the governor had vowed to make up the difference by laying off a thousand state workers if the bill didn’t pass by Friday. House Majority Leader Todd Eachus says he’s relieved the budget process is finally over and says the bill improved over time.
"I think what really helped this is it ended up being solid policy. What Senate Republicans and our majority in the House did together over the course past months on this bill was put together the fabric of what really made sense as it relates not only to the budget, but to this industry."
Gaming Control Board Chairman Gregory Fajt says it will likely be six to nine months before the games are up and running.
Larger casinos will be allowed to set up as many as 250 tables, while resort casinos will be limited to 50 each.
The measure also institutes several reforms, including caps on the amount of money Gaming Control Board members can make in outside jobs.