Unprecedented Gambling Expansion Bill Becomes Law 

TAKE ACTION: A time-sensitive response is needed to stop a casino from being built in your neighborhood.

Sadly, it’s official: Governor Wolf signed into law one of the largest expansions of gambling that any state has ever proposed. What started as a simple idea – creating one phone number, 1-800-GAMBLER, to call for gambling help – turned into nearly doubling the number of casinos in the state and adding just about every gambling option a state can sponsor. Online gambling. The “crack-cocaine of gambling” – Video Gaming Terminals. Keno and online lottery sales. Pennsylvania is now the only state to sponsor all of these gambling options.

***There is one thing you can still do in response to the additional casinos: the location for each casino has yet to be determined and there is a short window for local leaders to respond and prevent a casino from being built in their neighborhood.

Part of this new gambling law contains a provision that any municipality can prohibit a casino from being built within their jurisdiction but your municipal officials must pro-actively pass a resolution by December 31, 2017.

Here are the two things that need to happen if you do not want a casino built in your neighborhood:

1) ASAP: Tell your local municipal officials (township supervisors/borough or city council) to pass a Resolution.

The Resolution should include:

  • Reference the section of the new gambling expansion law (page 571 of House Bill 271 – Section 1305.2).
  • The municipality’s decision to exercise the power to opt-out.
  • The date the resolution was adopted.
  • The inclusion of signatures or seal necessary to establish that the resolution was officially adopted.

2) Be sure your municipal officials submit an official copy of the Resolution to the Gaming Control Board no later than December 31st.

  • Contact Person: Pamela Lewis, Board Secretary
  • Address:

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board

303 Walnut Street

Commonwealth Tower, 5th Floor

Harrisburg, PA 17101

If you have further questions about this opt-out provision, please contact us or see the notice released by the PA Gaming Control Board.

We won’t sugarcoat it – this new gambling expansion is an awful turn of events for Pennsylvania. It’s “terrible fiscal policy” (Philadelphia Inquirer) and it’s terrible for families across Pennsylvania.

For more about the legislation and a roll call to see how your elected officials voted, go to pafamily.org/2017/10/terrible.

Pennsylvania Family Council fought for years against these proposals, and thanks to your support and action we had been able to fight off the gambling lobby. Unfortunately, many of these harmful policies are now law. I’m disappointed to share this with you but know that we will continue to expose the harms of these new policies and fight against any future proposals that may harm Pennsylvania families even further.