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Senator Farnese Applauds Passage of Gaming Legislation, Economic Development Funding for Philadelphia
On October 26, 2017
Harrisburg, PA – October 26, 2017 – Senator Larry Farnese (D-Philadelphia) voted for the omnibus gaming bill that is on its way to the Governor. The bill, House Bill 271, is an important piece of the budget and included the fix to the local share assessment.
The local share assessment drafted by Farnese includes a $10 million fee in Philadelphia for each operating casino within the City. This money would be allocated to the School District, the City, and to a new economic development fund.
“Since 2010, I have been fighting for dedicated economic development funding from gaming local shares to get Philadelphia more in line with municipalities that receive casino assessments,” said Senator Farnese. “Finally, for the first time since the Gaming Act’s inception, I am proud to say this important provision has been included and I look forward to continuing the partnership between Philadelphia’s casinos and the neighborhoods that host them.”
The infusion of $5 million in economic development funding will be available city-wide and will allow neighborhood groups and civic associations to apply for important community projects. Additionally, both the City and the School District would be eligible applicants, providing additional resources for capital and infrastructure improvements.
The bill also authorizes new revenues through interactive gaming methods, including tablet gaming at airports, fantasy contests, iLottery, and online gaming.
“Having Philadelphia International Airport in my district, I support tablet gaming at airports as a way to capture additional revenues without impeding upon our already-operating casinos,” Senator Farnese said. “Tablet gaming at Philly Airport and around the state will also provide additional local share funds to the School District of Philadelphia, property tax relief, and economic development.”
The bill now moves to the Governor’s desk and will generate $200 to $225 million in the current fiscal year and approximately $100 million per year in recurring revenue, dollars needed to address the current budget deficit.