HARRISBURG, January 7, 2009 – – State Sen. Larry Farnese (D-Phila.) today issued the following statement on the passage of Senate Bill 711 that will allow table games in Pennsylvania casinos:

Senate Bill 711 includes many good reforms such as ending campaign contributions from casino owners and giving voice to casino communities by requiring public hearings when a casino redesigns or relocates,” Farnese said.

“However, I voted against the bill because of many troubling and bad provisions. First, the bill does not provide a dedicated local share of money directly to the neighborhoods bearing the brunt of casino development. No other city in Pennsylvania has casinos so close to neighborhoods as does Philadelphia. A dedicated and recurrent source of revenue would have been a tremendous benefit to casino neighborhoods by addressing citywide impacts of casinos such as education, crime, and health care.

I also opposed the provision that allows Foxwoods to apply for an extension to delay opening the casino until December 2012. I see no reason to continue to back this operator when it has shown no evidence of an ability to move forward with this project.”

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