Slots at airports? Lawmakers weigh whether plan will fly

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (WHTM) – Should Pennsylvania airports turn to gambling to help generate revenue?

The House Gaming Oversight Committee held a public hearing Monday on a proposal to allow slot machines at the state’s six international airports.

Under House Bill 1408, airports could add slots to secure areas beyond the TSA checkpoints, then use their share of the profits for revitalization projects.

Supporters say the plan would bring in money for the state, and they say it wouldn’t hurt casinos since only ticketed passengers are allowed past the security points.

They point to airports in Las Vegas and Reno, the only two in the country to allow slot machines.

“I think some people thought that airport slots was a far-off idea, but when you hear the person from Vegas talk about it and you hear about the revenue they get and the revenue they share with the airport and locals, I think it’s very important for Pennsylvania,” committee chairman Rep. John Payne (R-Dauphin) said.

If the bill is signed into law, Pennsylvania’s airports would not be required to offer slot machines.

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