This Wednesday, Pennsylvania State Police brought the long arm of the law after raiding a number of sites in Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming counties as part of an ongoing illegal gambling investigation. According to the reports, the police confiscated a number of gambling machines and more than $400,000 in cash. The names of the affected gambling venues remained undisclosed.
As part of a crackdown on illegal electronic gambling machines, there are a number of businesses that had been raided by Pennsylvania State Police. These include liquor establishments and other gambling locations, which names remained undisclosed. The action was aimed to bust businesses, which were suspected to offer illegal electronic gambling machines. The police showed that the state will not tolerate wrongdoers, who violate the law.
According to the police reports, dozens of gambling machines were seized. Apart from that, the police also confiscated more than $400,000 obtained by illegal gambling activities. The accusations, which the busted businesses are to face are also kept under wraps, but administrative charges are most probably forthcoming as the investigation continues.
At first glance, the violation may seem to be victimless, but it was explained that it hurts Pennsylvania’s tax revenue. What is more is that such illegal electronic gambling machines are viewed as a great threat to vulnerable people, who have gambling addictions. Here it is important to note that such illegal gambling devices do not operate on true odds. This means that the amount withheld by the machine is determined by its owner. Hence, these gambling machines abuse the customers’ rights.
Pennsylvania’s Gambling Expansion
In late October, Gov. Tom Wolf signed to the comprehensive gambling expansion bill, which came into effect immediately. The bill allows online casino and poker products, as well as daily fantasy sports, online lottery sales, new satellite casinos and video gaming terminals (VGT) at select truck stops within the state’s borders. Here, the key word is “select”, meaning that the state is responsible for designating the places, in which such VGTs will be installed. According to the law, there are 12 licenses for each of the aforementioned products up for grabs. The officials are to open a 120-day time window, in which operators will be allowed to submit their bids.
At present, VGTs are regulated and legalized, but no business is allowed to offer such gambling machines. Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is to point the places that are approved for licensing and only these sites will be authorized to offer legal VGTs.
This is not the first time, in which the police seize electronic gambling equipment. In 2017, the State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement has confiscated around 400 electronic gambling machines. Earlier this year, state’s officials implied that such violation of the gambling law may cost the liquor licensees their licenses.