Friday, April 15, 2011

Proposed Changes to Gaming Investigative Duties

Legislation has been introduced to move the Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement (BIE) from the Gaming Control Board to the Pennsylvania State Police.
The BIE conducts background checks on casino license applicants, among other duties. Republican State Representative Ronald Marsico of Dauphin County says he introduced the bill in part because of past actions of the Gaming Control Board.
"I guess it was back in 2008. There were some problems with the Gaming Control Board and its inability to access appropriate criminal background information concerning license applicants, and these issues have cast a cloud over Pennsylvania's gaming industry."
Marsico says that the State Police have already expressed willingness to take on the responsibilities and while it would expand their current budget it would only do so by a little.

This comes after a similar bill was introduced in March by Republican Representative Mike Vereb to have the BIE moved to the Attorney General's Office. The Attorney General supported the legislation but conceded the switch would take time and money.

Marsico says that he would be fine with either the Attorney General or State Police taking over the duties as long as it was out of the Gaming Control Board's hands. He says that he will soon ask the Chair of the House Gaming Oversight Committee to move the bill to hearings or a vote.

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