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State House Approves Airport Tablet Gambling Bill

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The State House approved a bill on Tuesday that would allow limited gambling in some airports in western Pennsylvania.

House Bill 271 would allow tablet gambling at eight local airports, including Pittsburgh International and Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.

A total of 20 percent of the gross take from the gambling machines would go right into airport coffers.

"Payroll, keeping the grass cut and keeping the snow plowed," said Gabe Monzo, the executive director of the Westmoreland County Airport Authority.

Gambling would be limited to the boarding areas of the airport. By limiting the amount of people who can gamble, officials say the risk of turning the airport into a casino-type establishment would be low.

Standard gambling laws would apply. Travelers would still have to be at least 21-years-old to play.

Casinos which currently have slot machines would be allowed to apply for an airport gaming certificate. Approved casinos would then pay a one-time, $1 million fee, as well as 14 percent of their daily gross revenue from their airport games.

The bill still has to be approved by the State Senate. Then, the governor would have to sign off.

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