This Week in PA Gambling: Senate Passes Online Gambling, MGM Passing on Sands

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This Week in PA Gambling is a round-up of some of the top stories in Pennsylvania’s gambling industry, online and off.

This week we take a look at the State Senate passing an online gaming bill, how the MGM-Sands Bethlehem deal has fallen apart, the continued effort to ban smoking in Pennsylvania casinos, and more.

PA Senate Passes Online Gambling Bill

Pennsylvania moved a step toward passing online gaming legalization Wednesday, as the state’s Senate passed a modified version of an online gambling bill by a sizable 38-12 margin.

The bill passed two key Senate committees a day earlier and now returns to the House of Representatives for some possible amendments and a subsequent vote.

All the details on what online gambling will look like in Pennsylvania and the Senate vote can be found in this PA Online Gambling post.

MGM-Sands Deal Off

The $1.3 billion deal to sell Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem to MGM Resorts International is apparently a no go.

Sources with knowledge of the deal told the Allentown Morning Call newspaper MGM has ended its pursuit of the Bethlehem, PA casino.

The local newspaper has more information on the collapsed deal on this page.

Casino Smoking Ban Debate Heats Up

The State House and Senate are continuing to consider eliminating exemptions to the 2008 Clean Indoor Act that allow smoking in Pennsylvania casinos.

Apparently most casino-goers want cleaner air where they gamble.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette did an informal survey at Rivers Casino and discusses all the results and the entire issue in this article.

PA Casino’s Best Bets

The odds bet in craps and the surrender rule in blackjack are among the best bets you’ll find in a casino and they are both available in Pennsylvania.

Knowing is only half the battle. The other half is learning to take maximum advantage of these bets.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review casino columnist Mark Gruetze shows you how in this guide.

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Marty Derbyshire has been covering online gambling for various industry media outlets since 2007.

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