Snyder: No truth to casino attack mailer

Lawmaker says her vote supports local VFWs, American Legions and service clubs

HARRISBURG, June 21 – State Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, today said a mailer circulating in the area claiming she supported “big gambling interests” over senior citizens is patently false and laughably ridiculous.

“The mailer is part of a million-dollar lobbying campaign for special interests with links to the Sands Casino Resort in Northampton County, which has been up for sale for $1.3 billion,” Snyder said. “It’s sad and woefully misguided to think that our local VFWs, American Legions and bars pose a threat to a gambling behemoth almost 300 miles away.”

Snyder said H.B. 271, passed with bipartisan support two weeks ago, would enable taverns, clubs and service organizations with liquor licenses to apply for licenses that would permit a maximum of five video gaming terminals.

“These service organizations, veterans clubs and small businesses are integral parts of our communities and have supported every local baseball team, Scout troop and charitable cause for time immemorial,” Snyder said. “A bingo hall does not make a gambling mecca – and five VGTs in a hometown club or tavern does not make a casino.”

Snyder said local tavern owners report virtually universal support for the limited gambling option, and that she would never support a proposal that threatens the viability of the Pennsylvania Lottery and the valuable programs, such as property tax and rent rebates and prescription drug assistance, funded by it.

“If a billion-dollar casino thinks our clubs and taverns in Greene, Fayette and Washington counties pose a threat to it, perhaps it should rethink its business model rather than attacking me with ridiculous claims,” Snyder said. “I will always support the lottery and the seniors it supports, even if it means butting heads with giant conglomerates with no stake in our local communities.”

House Bill 271 remains in the state Senate with its future unclear as the June 30 end of the fiscal year nears.