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Pennsylvania plans to allow online gambling at truck stops


Governor Tom Wolf has signed legislation that will allow online gambling to expand in Pennsylvania to truck stops and airports.

Since the state’s economy is having a difficult time generating revenue, state officials devised this plan to keep the money coming in.

Under the legislation, the state will become the fourth to allow online gambling, joining Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. It also makes Pennsylvania the first state to allow online play for both commercial casinos and its state lottery, as both go in search of newer and younger players, according to The Philadelphia Tribune.

Democrat Governor Wolf is less than thrilled with the increase in gambling; however, Wolf thinks that online gambling in truck stops and airports will garner better public response than a tax increase.

Wolf vows that the introduction of online gambling will not damage the existing tax collections from casino revenues or receipts from the struggling Pennsylvania Lottery.

He explained saying, “There’s been a lot of pressure from a lot of places in the Commonwealth to actually expand this, and we do need some recurring revenue,” Wolf said. “Again, the goal has been all along to do what’s prudent, not cannibalize existing gambling revenue coming to the state, and I think what we’re settling on will actually do that.”

Truck stops will be able to operate up to 5 slot machine-style monitors called video gaming terminals.

This new gambling legislation has an expected profit of $200 million or more from casino license fees and taxes on higher gambling losses. The online gambling area has hopes of repaying a projected $2.2 billion dollar deficit that the state has incurred.

What do truck drivers think?

After the legislation was passed truck drivers at the Flying J in Middlesex Township were asked what they thought about online gambling at truck stops.

A Tennessee driver, Kate Perry, told PennLive, ” (Sigh) It can be a hassle.”  Her biggest concern was a matter of space – there is already a lack of parking for truck drivers.

“We’re hard-pressed for parking spaces already,” Perry said.

PennLive also reported, “Attempts to reach corporate officials of three major truck stop operators – Pilot-Flying J, Petro-Travel Centers of America and Love’s Travel Stops – regarding whether they plan to allow installation of the gambling terminals were not immediately successful.”

Contrary to Perry’s opinion, truck driver Mark Lyman stated, “I think it’s a good idea. They’ve got it in Illinois. I always stop to play.”

A Chicago truck driver, Nikola Nikolic, commented, “It’s not so bad, but it can be. It can be fun, but it can be very dangerous.”

Rondy Mosely of Atlanta, Georgia warned that often times gambling invites less than a desirable crowd. This could be problematic for the safety of truck drivers and truck stops in general. He added, “There’s no doubt truck stop gambling will be a money-maker for the Keystone State,”  but at what cost?

Florida truck driver Tim Mannn said what many are already thinking, “I don’t gamble. I run all 48 states. Vegas, Reno. I have no interest in spending my hard-earned money on that.”


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