Pennsylvania Senate eyes fast start on casino issues in 2017

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania’s casino industry will be under the microscope in 2017, and officials from the state’s 12 casinos are being summoned to Harrisburg for a meeting Jan. 3.

Republican Sen. Kim Ward of Westmoreland County says changes must be made to Pennsylvania’s casino gambling law and she wants to get started early.

A top issue is replacing a provision struck down by the state’s high court in September. That provision required casinos to pay tens of millions of dollars to their host communities for a decade. Some casinos are willing to continue paying, but Ward says money should also flow to counties that don’t host a casino, like hers.

Also, some casinos want to start online gambling sites and lawmakers want to squeeze more money from gambling to bandage the state’s deficit-ridden finances.

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