Bill Passes State House Under One of the State’s Biggest Gambling Expansions

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LUZERNE COUNTY--- Pennsylvania is one step close to one of its biggest gambling expansions. The state house okayed a bill to allow gambling at places including airports, American Legions, and bars.

Instead of scrolling through your phone while waiting for a flight at the Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport you may soon be able to try your luck on a slot-machine style game.

"If I was here for over two hours, if there was a cancellation, then I probably might go and spend $20 and say that's it I'm done," Elena Moore of Detroit said after landing at the Luzerne County

"I'd rather be doing other things like checking my e-mail, you know I'm a college student, I'm trying to keep with that stuff," Woodmael Tresilus of Edwardsville said.

The bill passed the state house by a slim margin earlier this week.

It would allow slot-machine style games at places such as airports, bowling allys, and bars.

Supporters said it could help the state's budget deficit. Opponents said it could cause problems with gambling addiction.

"With today's machines and all the games that they have, it's just too detrimental for some people, like myself. No, I don't think it's a good idea," Mary Thomas of Forty Fort said.

If the bill was to become law, places with a liquor license could have one of these electronic games of chance. Supporters of the bill say about 7,000 to 8,000 locations could have one.

"60% of our profits have to go back to the valley, so if we make more on the machines, we put more money into the valley on different projects baseball, boy scouts, girl scouts," Edward Tressa, Commander of the Swoyersville American Legion, said.

Those in favor of the bill said it could help bar owners, local governments, and veterans organizations. Those against said it could lessen lottery play, which supports elderly programs.

"I would do it, as long as I know it benefits the veterans or any kind of association that deals with anybody that served our country or something, or the elderly, either or," Dot Kavinksi of Swoyersville said.

The bill will now go on to the state senate.

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