No one could have known the kind of turnout that the first slot machines in Pennsylvania would have brought out on Tuesday. The slot machines whirred and clanged as thousands played them, or waited on line to play them. Most of the gamblers were middle aged to elderly, and they played the slot machines with $20 bills hoping to hit a “loose” slot.
By late morning, the $70 million slot machine casino was slammed, and officials say they were thrilled by the turnout. Since the Mohegan Sun is the first in PA to have slot machines, they have a monopoly on the gambling for the next month, as a second slot machine casino will open not long after them.
“I’m blown away,” said Bruce “Two Dogs” Bozsum, the Mohegan Indian tribal council’s Chairman. They operate the slot machine parlor, and all he could say as he looked around was “unbelievable.”
Slot Machines County
They are concerned about the idea of slot machines coming to Rosecroft Raceway. Eric Olson, the sponsor of the bill that would keep the slots out of the county, is supported by other council members as well as many residents. The problem they say is that the raceway cannot survive on its own and therefore should be allowed to simply shut down. But those in support of the slot machines say that if the games are not brought in then they will be looking at the loss of many jobs which will only make the financial situation in the county worse.
However, a bill has been introduced that would ban all of the slot machines across the county which would drastically hurt the financial stability of Penn National Gaming who took over the track and recently reopened it. They are hoping to offer slot machines and table games, including poker, if they are given permission to do so. The track had gone bankrupt and closed their doors in 2010 but with the slots would be able to open their doors and run a profitable business.
But many local leaders were opposed to the slot machines coming in when they first tried to get them back in 2008 and there has not been much movement on that front. There are still many that are not looking to prop up a horse track by adding in more gambling. The bill will be looked at over the next five weeks and is expected to hold true to the idea that slots cannot come into the track.