Just two days after Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf approved legislation authorizing a major expansion of gambling, coffers in the nation’s second-largest commercial casino state are already cashing a $1 million check.
The Associated Press reports that on Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said a $1 million fee was paid by Valley Forge Casino Resort to allow gambling by patrons who are not partaking in other amenities at the King of Prussia facility.
Prior to the enactment of the new gambling law signed by Gov. Wolf on Monday, only patrons, guests and membership holders were permitted on Valley Forge’s casino floor; the limits having been set by the casino’s “resort” category license. However, when Gov. Wolf signed the gambling expansion law, the state’s two licensed resort casinos were relieved of the requirements contained in the original 2004 casino law.
The new gambling legislation went into effect immediately after the Governor put pen to paper on Monday.
Eric Pearson, President and CEO of Valley Forge Casino Resort, explained in a news release, “Since opening five years ago, we have been constrained by the amenities requirements and membership fees which have confused and frustrated our guests.”
Pearson went on to say, “We are thrilled to be able to welcome our guests to our casino in the same manner as the other Pennsylvania casinos. Lifting this special requirement for guests to enter the casino allows us to better serve our existing guests, and puts us in a better position to attract new visitors to our property.”
According to Valley Forge Casino’s website, the legislation also allows the facility to add up to 15 poker tables and as many as 250 slot machines; in addition to applying for online sports betting and gaming licenses as they become available.
Pearson stated, “Our immediate first steps are to lift the access restrictions. Secondarily we’ll explore the options related to expanding our gaming offerings.”
Via the new legislation, Pennsylvania joins Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey in legalizing mobile and online gambling, while allowing the struggling state lottery to enter the online market. The new bill also allows the state’s 10 largest casinos to bid on licenses to operate satellite casinos.
According to the Associated Press, only Nevada rakes in more gross revenues than Pennsylvania. The eastern state, in the most recent fiscal year, net $1.4 billion making it the No. 1 state in the U.S. in tax revenue from the casino industry.