Gov. Wolf OKs online gambling, more casinos in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania's governor has approved legislation authorizing a major expansion of gambling in what's already the nation's second-largest commercial casino state.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said Monday he's signed a bill that will make the state the fourth to allow online gambling. The measure also will allow the state's 10 largest casinos to bid on licenses to operate new, smaller casinos and put video gambling terminals inside truck stops. It also would allow gambling parlors in airports.

Berks County-based Penn National Gaming said last week that it will be weighing all of its "legal options" if the expansion plan were to become law.

The company, headquartered in Wyomissing, said the plan "will have a uniquely punitive impact" on its Hollywood Casino in Dauphin County, near Hershey, and the jobs it represents.

The gambling legislation aims to produce about $200 million annually from casino license fees and taxes on higher gambling losses.

Pennsylvania casinos rake in more gross revenues than any other state except Nevada. Pennsylvania is the No. 1 state in tax revenue from the casino industry, netting $1.4 billion in the most recent fiscal year.

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