Gov. Rendell’s “ACE IN THE HOLE”

Bill Kearney's picture

Gov. Rendell insists that the legalization of video poker machines is not an expansion of gambling in Pennsylvania. He says it’s legalizing something that exists and it exists with no benefit to the taxpayers, no benefit to the citizens. There is a real lesson to be learned here when Gov. Rendell, Senate and House members, Liquor Control Board officials, State Police Commissioner Frank Pawlowski, Gaming Control Board members along with the Pa. Department of Revenue after doing thorough research acknowledge that there are as many as 17,000 ILLEGAL video poker machines parting Pennsylvanians from their money at bars, taverns, restaurants, and private clubs across the state. They also confirmed that this ILLEGAL business of video poker has been around since the late 70’s and has been linked to both organized crime and public corruption. If this is factual, and remember they’re not talking about concealed contraband the likes of illegal drugs, weapons, or stolen goods. What we’re talking about is ILLEGAL gambling machines some the size of a cigarette machine that are profoundly displayed with reckless abandon towards state laws and regulations in ‘LCB’ licensed establishments.

Now I’m no Sherlock Holmes, but how hard would it be to eliminate this ILLEGAL activity. How’s this for an antidote! If you’re harboring video poker machines your liquor license will be revoked.

So the lesson learned here is that our pillars of society have known for quite some time now the whereabouts of this ongoing ILLEGAL activity and yet have done little to suppress it, so what would make one think that they would be capable of governing it if it were to become legal. Just look at the number of noteworthy calamities they have accumulated in the short time they have been governing our gaming industry.

But let’s say the governor has an ace up his sleeve and wins this hand, will the owners of these video poker establishments operate in the same fashion as our slot operators? For instance, will they be allowed to operate 24/7, and cash within a 24 hour period up to $2500 in personal checks? Will they be serving those gambling free booze, and enticing them with comps? Will they be issuing Reward Cards in order to track their patrons’ money and time spent gambling? And will they be under the jurisdiction of our Gaming Control Board? Will these mini casino address compulsive gambling the same way our slot operators do, with things like a 1-800 GAMBLER get help number, a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week hotline that provides crisis counseling, and a self-exclusion list for those who become addicted to video poker? Will the mini casino operators and their employees be trained to identify problem gamblers? And if a patron becomes an addicted gambling degenerate, will they be held accountable like they are when an intoxicated patron destroys their lives or others?

Now I doubt this insidious idea will ever come to fruition. Especially since the slot operators who have held all the cards so far in Pennsylvania’s gaming fiasco are not about to share their slot spoils with ‘MINI ME’S’ But then again, what if that ‘ACE’ up the governor’s sleeve happens to be Rep. DeWeese’s table game legislation that would turn Pennsylvania's slot parlors into full fledged casinos.

Open this link - - and you will see what I’ve been saying all along, which is, the man who brought the casino plague upon us, the Honorable Governor Ed. Rendell has no idea how casinos operate.

Open this link - and observe more of how clueless this man is when it comes to the gaming industry.