Every municipality in Lancaster County has now passed a resolution to prevent a mini-casino from being located within their borders.
“We could not be more pleased with the quick response and strong statement this sends to Harrisburg special interests,” state Sens. Ryan Aument and Scott Martin of Lancaster County said in a joint statement.
“Lancaster County is extraordinary for many reasons, and hosting a mini-casino here adds nothing positive to our culture, people or economy. In fact, it runs counter to our heritage and character.”
A new gambling law authorized up to 10 mini-casinos to be operated by the existing casinos in Pennsylvania. It also legalized Internet gambling run by casinos, video gaming terminals at truck stops, bets on fantasy sports games and airport tablet gambling.
The new gambling expansion was passed in October as part of the state budget.
Municipal governments which chose not to be targeted to host a mini-casino within their borders were given an opt-out option that required them by Dec. 31 to pass a resolution prohibiting the location of a mini-casino within their municipality.
All 60 municipalities in Lancaster County have now done that.
All municipalities, however, have the right to opt in later and be willing to host a mini-casino. But if they do, they cannot opt out again.
Sens. Martin and Aument predicted that the latest gambling expansion effort would make Pennsylvania one of the top states in legalized options for gambling and criticized some legislators for taking such an aggressive approach to legalized gambling.
“We are hopeful that the General Assembly’s appetite for more gambling has finally been satisfied,” the senators said in their statement.
“We came to Harrisburg to make things better, not worse, and this law in no way promotes healthy families, strong communities, a vibrant economy or high-performing schools.”