State Lawmakers have until today to vote to keep gaming revenues in the community.
Erie county currently receives one percent of gross revenue from Presque Isle Downs and Casino with half of that going to county government and the other half to Erie County Gaming and Revenue Authority and nonprofits. These funds equate to around $13 million a year.
Those dollars became endangered following a Supreme Court ruling in November, declaring that local share of gaming revenue was unconstitutional. Lawmakers are looking at a bill that would expand gaming in the state and also preserve those dollars.
The millions of dollars could come to a trickle due to a Supreme Court ruling and a bill passed in the House that redefines who qualifies for the revenue. The changes open up the entire Commonwealth to grabs at the funds. Perry Wood, Executive Director of the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority, said, “The funding will dry out and cease to exist, so folks want to see these things that are creating jobs and creating a better quality of life for the region it needs to be top of mind to be advocating with the leaders in Harrisburg.”
Hundreds of letters were sent to leaders in Harrisburg in both the Senate and House, according to Wood, “telling them this is really important to our economy”.
“The gaming funds are crucial for Erie County,” County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper said. “There are so many good things that have been done in this community because of the gaming funds that have come here. And even in the county budget, $5.5 million of our budget is actually from gaming funds.”