The Pennsylvania legislature passed a bill legalizing table games at state casinos in both the House and the Senate. Governor Ed Rendell had set a deadline of Friday to pass a compromising bill, but it was not needed as the legislature came to a satisfying compromise before the deadline.
Pennsylvania casinos will now be able to add Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, and Poker to the existing Slot Machines. This is great news for many casino patrons who have longed to play table games.
Governor Rendell had pushed hard for the bill, stating that the budget had been planned with the expected $250 million from additional gambling revenue included, and that failure to pass the measure could mean layoffs of a thousand government employees.
The table gambling bill passed first in the Senate, 28 to 22 and later in the day in the House with a vote of 103 to 89.
Dante Santoni Chairman of the House Gaming Oversight Committee said "This is a common sense, bipartisan piece of legislation that makes our gaming facilities more competitive, improves the public's confidence in gaming, raises money we desperately need in these tough financial times, and most importantly it helps put thousands of people to work in a brand new industry,"
Under the new law, large casinos are permitted as many as 250 tables, while smaller resorts are limited to 50 tables. Casinos will now be able to give credit to qualified patrons under the new bill; this was also one of the main concerns during deliberation of the bill.