HARRISBURG – Rep. Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery) testified on behalf of her legislation to use Montgomery County casino money to benefit county initiatives at a public hearing of the House Gaming Oversight Committee meeting on Thursday.
“Like many counties across the Commonwealth, Montgomery County has had to make cuts to its annual budget. My legislation would help to ease the burden to adequately fund our county parks, as well as Mission Kids and Laurel House,” Toepel said. “This additional income would help to offset budget cuts or deferred investment and maintenance to some of our county’s most treasured locations.”
The legislation would change the state Gaming Act to ensure that Montgomery County’s local share assessment for slots and table games would be deposited into dedicated accounts to support maintenance and refurbishment of the county’s six parks, five historic sites and 65 miles of hiking trails, as well as Mission Kids and Laurel House. Mission Kids and Laurel House are both county-funded services that assist local families in need.
Montgomery County Commissioner Valerie Arkoosh testified during the hearing and implored the committee to treat her county as the others in the Commonwealth that have resort casinos.
“Of all the counties in the state that have resort casinos, only Montgomery County is treated differently. Only Montgomery County is denied direct access to these revenues,” said Arkoosh. “Montgomery County should not be the outlier in the way casino revenues are shared and distributed.”
As part of the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act, Act 71 of 2004, Montgomery County is the only county in the Commonwealth with a resort casino that lacks any influence at the county government level regarding how the casino revenue is spent.
In addition to Arkoosh, those offering testimony were: Abbie Newman, executive director of Mission Kids, and Beth Sturman, executive director of Laurel House.
“The ability to use revenue from slots and table games at Valley Forge Resort and Casino would have a very real impact on our community. The yearly projected revenue that would benefit Montgomery County residents is $1.2 million,” Toepel said.
For more information regarding House Bill 565
, including photos from this hearing, visit Toepel’s website at RepToepel.com
Representative Marcy Toepel
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Alison Evans