Thursday, December 8, 2016

It's deal to keep casino money flowing

Any way you look at it, $14 million bucks is a big number.

Unlike professional athletes or big-time entertainers, when you start dealing with municipal budgets, this starts adding up to real money real fast.

Back in September, the state Supreme Court sent shock waves across Pennsylvania, at least those areas that play "host" to one our new-fangled casinos.

Here in Delaware County, that means Harrah's down on the waterfront in Chester.

The court ruled in favor of one of the state's smaller, so-called "boutique" casinos who had filed suit, saying the host agreements with casinos was unfair. Naturally, this was all about money as well. The way the deals were set up, the little guys in the casino biz made the argument that thet paying more than they should. The court agreed, and blew up the deals.

That left Delaware County and the city of Chester in a bit of a panic.

Those host agreements mean big bucks to both the city and county. Delaware County gets $4 million from Harrah's. Chester is even more dependent on gaming revenue, owing as much as a quarter of its annual budget from the gaming mecca along Route 291.

Yesterday, state Sens. Tom McGarrigle, R-26, of Springfield, and Tom Killion, R-9, of Middletown, announced a deal that will keep the money flowing.

That means the county will continue to get its annual $4.9 million haul, and Chester will not have to due without its $10.5 million payment.

Delaware County Council unanimously signed off on the deal at yesterday's meeting.

You can get all the details here.

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