Analysis: Key State Senator Shocked, Shocked That There Is Illegal Gaming In PA Taverns

HARRISBURG, PA (CBS) — As the state Senate and House remain bogged down over the latter’s desire to legalize slot machine-like video gaming terminals in Pennsylvania, a key state Senator has taken a curious tack in the debate over allowing so-called VGT’s in liquor licensed establishments.

Supporters of legalizing and taxing VGTs say that one reason to do it is that they are already operating illegally.

Proponents have made that argument about illegal gaming in bars for years. But Bucks County Republican Chuck McIlhinney, who chairs a Senate committee that vets such issues, put out a press release suggesting that it’s news to him.

Citing a recent opinion article by a House member, McIlinney thanked the House for bringing the issue to light.

The Senator says hearings must be held on this “scourge of illegal VGT’s” before making them legal can be considered.

Neither McIlinney nor a spokesman for House Republican leaders was available to be interviewed.

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