Rep. Nick Kotik (D-Allegheny), Minority Chair of the House Gaming Oversight Committee, Monday announced he is introducing legislation to prevent the Gaming Control Board from issuing the seventh, and final, Category 1 slot machine license.
"There is no appetite in the General Assembly to expand gaming in any which way," Rep. Kotik said. "That begs the question: Why issue the remaining license?"
Rep. Kotik noted that since 2004, Pennsylvania law has allowed each of the state’s existing racetracks the ability to apply for a slot machine license and turn their facilities into what is known as a racino.
To date, six racetracks have been approved, leaving the state with one last Category 1 license to be awarded.
"With the potential of adding 250 new table games and 5,000 new slot machines into the mix, the word from operating casinos is that we would futilely be adding to an already saturated market," Rep. Kotik said. "With those numbers in mind, the collective thought is that the result of adding another gaming facility would only add to the current cannibalization of the existing 12 brick and mortars which would then result in slower casino hiring, a stall in capital investment and further prevent casinos from diversifying into hospitality assets."Abiding by the General Assembly’s collective trend of not passing any expansion of gaming, I believe adding a new Category 1 casino in Pennsylvania is simply not justified or fiscally prudent."