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November 16, 2017

Montgomery County votes to prohibit video gaming terminals

Gaming Pennsylvania Legislature
Stock_Carroll - Valley Forge Casino Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The Valley Forge Casino Resort as seen from the Valley Forge National Park.

The Montgomery County Commissioners voted Thursday to prohibit video gaming terminals from truck stops.

Dr. Val Arkoosh, Kenneth E. Lawrence Jr. and Joseph C. Gale voted unanimously to keep the gambling machines out of the county to protect jobs associated with its one casino.

“We unanimously passed the resolution banning video gaming terminals from the county because we did not want to invite competition for Valley Forge Casino, which employs about 1,000 people, especially competition from these machines, which would not create any jobs in Montgomery County,” said Arkoosh, the commissioners' chairwoman, in a statement.

The video gaming terminals were approved as part of legislation for the state's 2018 budget. In addition, the legislation made fantasy sports betting legal, gives casinos in the state permission to offer interactive gaming (slots, poker and table games) and provides for up to 10 satellite casinos statewide and permits video gaming terminals.

But counties that have a casino – the Valley Forge Casino operates in King of Prussia – can opt out of hosting the video gaming terminals by Dec. 31.

Municipalities also can opt out of hosting satellite casinos by that same date.

As far as the video gaming terminals are concerned, the legislation requires truck stops to meet six provisions: volume of diesel sold, parcel size (no less than 3 acres) with no less than 20 parking spaces for commercial vehicles, have a convenience store and be equipped with a diesel island for fueling commercial vehicles.

The machines are also not permitted at truck stops on property owned by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.