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Mini-Casinos Planned for PA

TOWANDA TOWNSHIP -- Pennsylvania is already a big gambling state and it will soon be bigger. The state is set to open ten mini-casinos. Governor Wolf signed the gambling expansion bill into law as a way to balance the state budget.

If you like to gamble, you've probably been to one of Pennsylvania's 12casinos. And if you do not live near one of them, that could soon change.

In late October, Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill that allows expansion of gambling opportunities in the Keystone State. This includes building ten mini-casinos which will be owned and operated by existing Pennsylvania casino operators.

A mini-casino is defined as a facility with between 300 and 750 slot machines, and fewer than 40 table games. The bill says a mini-casino cannot be located within 25 miles of one of the state's 12 existing casinos.

"People are going to gamble whether we have it or not," Teresa McLinko said.

Towanda Township in Bradford County is one of the municipalities considering allowing a mini-casino. Municipalities in the state must vote by December 31 to decide whether a casino is right for them.

"I'm for the casino. Whatever they want to do they'll do anyway, I think. And people spend their money somehow," Margaret Potter said.

"I think it's a good idea. It brings jobs for people and we certainly could use that," McLinko said.

It was hard to find someone in the Towanda area who is against the idea.

"So much has left the Towanda area. I think anything that would bring business and people back, is a welcome thing," Cheryl Coe said.

The closest casino to Towanda is Tioga Downs in Nichols, New York. It's about 40 minutes away. People tell Newswatch 16 they like the idea of mini-casinos because they won't have to drive as far.

"There's a steady flow of people to the lottery machines anyway. You wouldn't have to drive so far to Tioga Downs," Chamberlain said.

Williamsport was also mentioned as a potential place for a mini casino. The Williamsport City Council has not yet voted on the issue. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board must hold the first auction for one of the mini casino licenses by January 16.


  • trucker

    Senate Bill 3 may have enough votes to overturn a veto, truly a national story, and bigger news then a gambling hall.

  • Common Era

    Didn’t they state that there would be “Tax Relief” the first time around? Funk this place. It gets more corrupt by the day. “Just hit about 8 million potholes to go spend 40 bucks at the casino. I’m living like a king! Take a picture of me in my Jazzy eating applesauce.”

  • warningfakenews

    Anyone want to takes bets on whether or not another casino owned by Mohegan Sun opens up in the Hazleton or Scranton areas?

  • Bill K.

    Man, I wish I had enough money laying around that I can literally gamble that it will or won’t be there by the end of the evening. I just can’t fathom how some have so much money they can literally gamble it away. Tell ya what, if you give me $100 and guess the number I’m thinking of I’ll give you $200 back. But if you guess wrong I keep your $100. Nope, I’m not writing down the number I’m thinking of beforehand. You have to take my word for it that I’m telling the truth….wink wink.

      • Bill K.

        What’s the matter Naxalone? Are you afraid to take me up on my gamble? I guess you’re not a fan of gambling then. Come on, how naive are you to think the casinos are a fair game with equal odds to the house and to the players? They’re in business to make money so of course the odds are going to be stacked in the house’s favor. Any games that can be won by skill are tilted in the house’s favor. That’s done by parading skimpily dressed young women around the floor offering free liquor to the gamblers. Liquor them up and have them checking out the girls. That’s how you keep them from concentrating on the game. Let’s say you DO concentrate on the game. Ohhhhh that’s called “counting cards” and you’re thrown out of the casino.

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