Wolf gave us a glimpse this week into his thinking about the package that was one of the biggest expansions of gaming seen in the US in recent years.
While not mentioning online gambling — or any other pieces of the gaming package — specifically, Wolf did sound like a fan of the bill approved by the legislature last week.
“There’s been a lot of pressure from a lot of places in the Commonwealth to actually expand this,” said Wolf. “We do need some recurring revenue so the goal all along has been to do what is prudent without cannibalizing existing gambling revenues coming to the state. And I think what we are settling on will actually do that.”
That doesn’t sound like a man who signed the bill begrudgingly as a part of an often difficult process of balancing the state’s budget. He could have simply let the bill become law without signing it, had he let a 10-day period elapse when the bill was on his desk.
He also says that the package will not cannibalize existing gaming revenue, something opponents of iGaming have said at different points in the legislative process.
Wolf’s vocal support of the package should put online gambling, if not all the other elements, on solid ground as it rolls out in PA.
In reality, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Wolf is supportive of the package. Why?
The new law has been getting pushback from many corners. A number of lawmakers have been throwing shade at the bill when it surfaced last week and quickly won approval from both the House and Senate.
But the narrative they and some state media outlets are advancing — that the law wasn’t thoroughly vetted — has little basis in reality. Online gambling has been on the radar of the state for five years. Much of the language that ended up in the law has been around for at least a few years. Negotiations about the gaming package have been going on behind the scenes for months.
That’s hardly a bill that was passed without much consideration. Yes, things like video gaming terminals at truck stops and the rollout of so-called satellite casinos came about quickly. But claiming the whole bill appeared out of nowhere is silly.
Regardless, that’s all crying over spilt milk. Wolf and a majority of lawmakers support the gaming law. The state should be focused on an effective rollout of the provisions it enacted.
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