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Pennsylvania Senator Says Tavern Games Rollout ‘Worse Than Obamacare’

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(The Pennsylvania capitol, in Harrisburg.  File photo)

(The Pennsylvania capitol, in Harrisburg. File photo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) - Early returns suggest the new law allowing for limited small games of chance in Pennsylvania taverns is a bust. And it could blow a hole in Governor Corbett’s proposed budget.

Governor Corbett in November signed the bill allowing taverns to apply for licenses to offer pull tabs, raffles and daily drawings. And the governor is counting on those games to generate $100 million in revenue in the next fiscal year. But during budget hearings Wednesday, it was revealed that so far, just six – that’s half a dozen – taverns have applied for licenses.

Republican Jake Corman, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, expressed concerns that the application process may be too burdensome.

“This rollout’s worse than Obamacare! Allright? More people signed up for Obamacare than are signing up for this small games of chance. From an industry who begged for this!”

But other testifiers suggested the problem may be within the small games authorization law itself, for example, a high tax rate may be leading tavern owners to conclude it’s not worthwhile.

 

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