Updated on 09/17/2011 12:09PM

Pennsylvania slots bid fails


The Pennsylvania Senate approved several tax hikes over the weekend in lieu of passing legislation that would have approved slot machines at racetracks and other sites.

The bills containing the tax hikes are headed for the House, which must approve the bills before the legislation is forwarded to Gov. Ed Rendell. The tax hikes will raise an estimated $1 billion for the overdue Pennsylvania budget.

Slot-machine legislation had been debated in the Senate in the run-up to the vote on the tax bills. But senators disagreed on how many sites should be given the right to operate the machines.

Rendell had supported the slot-machine legislation as a way to mitigate the effects of the tax hikes. He had hoped that the money raised from the machines would go towards property-tax relief. Rendell said he hoped an agreement on slots legislation could be reached next year.

Stock in three racetrack companies with interests in Pennsylvania dropped on Monday. The stocks had been run up for a week on the potential for a slot-machine bill.

Magna Entertainment, the racetrack company that owns the Meadows in Pennsylvania, dropped 57 cents, or 10.1 percent; Penn National Gaming, which owns Penn National racetrack, declined $2.20, or 8.7 percent; and MTR Gaming, which received a license this year to build a racetrack in Erie, Pa., dropped 59 cents, or 5.5 percent.