Gambling expansion does not solve state budget structure problems

Pennsylvania casinos will gross more revenue this year than any state except Nevada.

So it comes as no surprise that the state lawmakers and Gov. Wolf, with a new budget stalled by a $2.2 billion deficit, last week approved a bill to expand casino-style campleing to truck stops, online portals and airports and allow 10 new mini-casinos in the state.

And apparently that made state budget problems go away for another year.

Lawmakers hope to bring in an added $200 million a year from gambling. Unfortunately, expanding gambling does not solve the structural problems with the state budget.

A much more pragmatic solution would have been reduced staffing across the board and the use of surplus funding in several state accounts to balance the budget.