Although several communities in Pennsylvania may be considering whether to officially opt out of the possibility of hosting one of the state’s coming satellite casinos, it is a different story in Indiana County where one local council is reportedly eager to cash in on the hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenues any such gambling enterprise could bring.
According to a report from The Indiana Gazette newspaper, leader’s for the rural county’s Indiana Borough began discussions on Tuesday about the possibility of welcoming one of the new casinos although it is unclear whether any developer has so far expressed an interest in bringing gambling to a community of only 14,000 residents.
Last month saw Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf approve expanded gambling legislation that permits the eastern state to license a maximum of ten new satellite casinos offering up to 750 slots alongside 30 gaming tables. However, the move was not universally popular and municipalities have been given until the end of the year to officially eschew the possibility of hosting one of the coming venues.
Brad Gotshall, Manager for Indiana Borough, reportedly told the newspaper that it made sense from a business standpoint for his community to remain open to hosting a satellite casino as every one of the new slots is to be subject to a 4% gross revenue tax while the duty for gaming tables will stand at 2%. He purportedly explained that half of this amount will subsequently be set aside for host communities and could well equate to high six-figure sums every year.
Although boasting a small population of around 89,000, Indiana County sits only about 34 miles from the 306,000 residents of Pittsburgh while the wider metropolitan area has some 2.6 million inhabitants. The legislation signed into law by Wolf on October 30 prohibits any of the new satellite casinos from being located within 25 miles of an existing gambling venue and would moreover exclude any community in nearby Allegheny County and neighboring Armstrong County from serving as a host.