Pa. Gaming Licensees May Now Make Political Donations - News : News
Published on
Update on

A lot is going in the Keystone State as the gambling industry’s retail facilities prepare to open their doors to players. However, there is much more that is going on in the background and they are set to impact more than just the gambling industry. One of these things is a shift in legislation that involves political donations from gambling companies.

Back in 2004, legislators in Pennsylvania passed a law that banned gaming licensees in the state from making political contributions. Implemented as part of the Race Horse Development Act of 2004, the law was an effort to reduce the possibility of corruption in state politics. This law was quite significant and the fact that it gave way for the current statewide casino system cannot be overlooked.

However, according to the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the 2004 law may have gone too far. The court ruled that gaming law had violated free speech protections as well as equal protection rights. U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Nygaard pointed out that the government was responsible for fighting both corruption and the perception of corruption. He went on to emphasize that even in so doing, the government had to be “mindful of the fundamental speech and associational rights guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution at stake.”

The case against the law was brought forward by two stakeholders in the state’s gambling industry who had been regular political campaign contributors before the ban came into effect. They were joined by several other gaming interests including Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, Stadium Casino, Downs Racing, Penn Nation and Mountainview Racing. Their contribution and support of the challenge may have played a role in its success.

Previous Court Rulings

This is not the first time that the issue of the ban on political contributions has been brought to a court of law. In September 2018, a federal judge in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania struck down the ban after finding that it was too broad and was therefore unconstitutional.

Prior to that, the provision was also struck down back in 2009 by the Pennsylvanian Supreme Court. However, these efforts were rendered useless a few months later when the state’s legislators restored it.

What Now?

Well, it seems like people affiliated with the gambling industry will be able to fund political campaigns. That is, unless yet another hurdle arises. There, of course, has to be a lot of oversight especially considering the concerns pertaining to corruption that the ban sought to address.

Latest Headlines

Wind Creek Bethlehem Debuts Pennsylvania’s 11th Online Casino

Wind Creek Bethlehem has recently gone live with a new online gambling platform in the Keystone State. This will be the 11th online casino to launch in the state and it will be giving Pennsylvanian gamers even more options when it comes to internet slots and online table games. For the online gaming venture, Wind […]

Pa. Casino Revenue Rebounds in July

During the August 5 public meeting that was held by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), some very interesting developments came to light. As expected, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the meeting was held via a conference phone call. There was a lot that was discussed but the gaming revenue was one of the […]

New Video Gaming Terminals Launched in Pa. Truck Stops

Video gaming terminals (VGTs) are still quite popular in the Keystone State. Not only are they considered to be valuable revenue streams for gaming operators in the state but they are also essentially a fan-favorite of enjoying some entertainment at Pa. truck stops. The most recent development in the state was the launch of a […]

Close To 2,000 New Live! Casino & Hotel Jobs Coming to Pennsylvania

The Cordish Gaming Group’s Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia is one of the most anticipated operations in the Keystone State. Initially set to launch by the end of 2020, the $700 million casino and hotel development will be going live in early 2021 instead. The postponement of the launch date is a rather obvious result […]

Bill to Abolish Excise Tax on Legal Sports Betting Introduced in US Congress

The United States’ sports betting industry is still taking shape even though it has been a little over three years since PASPA was abolished. While states are now able to decide for themselves whether they would like to launch sports betting industries or not, the federal government still has some ties with the sports betting […]

Similar Stories in Gambling

Pa. Senator Proposes Use of Sports Betting Tax for Property Tax Relief

Unfortunately, the relief funds are not enough to offset some of the expenses that the country’s residents have to deal with. Such things as rent, insurance, food, mortgages, medical expenses, and power bills among other things have become very hard to deal with for most people. In the Keystone State, more help may finally be […]

Pennsylvania State Police Seize Dozens of ‘Illegal’ Gambling Machines

Lawmakers in the Keystone State are still in the process of reviewing the legality of “skill games” that have been rapidly spreading across the state. Their spread is so significant that the state lottery has raised concerns citing the fact that these machines are cutting into Pennsylvania’s ability to bring in revenue which is mostly […]

PGCB Seeks to Join Lawsuit Against Skill-Based Machines

After months of being partial to the issue of the legality of the controversial skill-based gaming machines, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has recently decided to weigh in on the matter. The Keystone State’s gambling regulator has petitioned to join the lawsuit against the machines and they have pretty hard-hitting claims that will certainly […]

Pennsylvanian Court Ends Halt to Seizure of ‘Skill Games’ by State Police

Last Tuesday, Commonwealth Court Judge Ellen Ceisler delivered a ruling on a request that was filed by Pace-O-Matic. The company, which is known for designing and assembling gaming machines under the Pennsylvania Skill brand, sought to have an injunction against the seizure of their machines extended. There has been a tug of war between Pace-O-Matic […]