What the Pa. guv candidates say about online gambling and casinos

A view of the table games at Hollywood Casino. FILE

A view of the table games at Hollywood Casino. FILE

We asked the candidates for governor some “yes” or “no” style questions about gambling. We also gave them some room to expand on those issues

Here’s a look at what they said:

 

Democrats

York County businessman Tom Wolf said he’s opposed to legalizing online gambling and he’s opposed to adding more casinos in Pennsylvania. U.S. Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz said the same.

Former state environmental protection secretary Katie McGinty said:

The questions, as posed, limit the ability to accurately respond to online gambling and expanding the number of casinos. This is not a clear-cut issue and therefore cannot be summarized with a one word answer. A number of questions and issues would need to be addressed before I would make a decision regarding these two important issues. Regarding online gambling and the expanding the number of casinos, it is not my preferred way to generate new revenue. I would approach the issue pragmatically. I would look carefully at the issue, discuss with experts, weigh the implications, both positive and negative, and make a final determination. If those experts would recommend that this is the only opportunity to raise additional revenues and that Pennsylvania would lose possible vital dollars to other states, then I would make my final decision based on those facts and circumstances.

State Treasurer Rob McCord said:

As someone who is driven by research and data, I would like to assess the experience of other states that are pursuing online gaming before committing to expanding into this area in Pennsylvania. If the evidence makes clear it can be done responsibly without negatively affecting existing revenues that support property tax relief, I would be willing to consider it. The issue of protecting revenues is also behind my opposition to expanding the number or casinos. As treasurer and an ex-officio member of the Gaming Control Board, I conducted a market analysis that showed the risk of new casinos cannibalizing revenues from existing sites. Any expansion should only be done if it can be shown to increase tax revenues and boost property tax relief.

Republicans

Montgomery County businessman Robert Guzzardi also said he’s opposed to legalizing online gambling.

“From what I know, internet gambling cannot be taxed or regulated so I don’t think it is a good idea,” he said.

He said the expansion of casinos should be left up to local municipalities.

Republican Gov. Tom Corbett did not complete our questionnaire.

About Ed Mahon

County government and politics reporter at York Daily Record/Sunday News.
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