Pennsylvania to allow gambling in airports, truck stops and online

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Pennsylvania to allow gambling in airports, truck stops and online

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvania, the nation's second-largest commercial casino state, is taking an even deeper plunge into gambling and will allow people to bet online, in airports and at truck stops.

With government leaders searching for money to plug holes in Pennsylvania's tattered finances, Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday signed legislation authorizing a major expansion of gambling.

Under the measure, the state will become the fourth to allow offer online gambling, joining Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. It also makes Pennsylvania the first state to allow online play for both commercial casinos and its state lottery, as both go in search of newer and younger players.

Wolf, a Democrat, had not been enthusiastic about expanding gambling, but he entertained the idea in dealings with a Republican-controlled Legislature that saw it as a better option to balance the state's persistent deficits than a tax increase.

While lawmakers also saw a gambling expansion as a way to bring tax revenue to their districts and pet projects, Wolf had focused on ensuring a gambling expansion would not damage the state's existing tax collections from casino revenues or receipts from the struggling Pennsylvania Lottery.

"There's been a lot of pressure from a lot of places in the commonwealth to actually expand this and we do need some recurring revenue," Wolf told reporters Monday. "Again, the goal has been all along to do what's prudent, not cannibalize existing gambling revenue coming to the state, and I think what we're settling on will actually do that."

In addition to online play, the new law will allow the state to be peppered with games of chance.

Ten of the state's 12 existing casinos will be able to bid on a license for a new, smaller casino with hundreds of slot machines. Bidding would start at $7.5 million, with a table games certificate costing an extra $2.5 million, for a casino limited to 750 slots and 30 table games. Currently, the state's larger casinos can operate up to 5,000 slot machines.

Meanwhile, casinos will be able to offer interactive gambling parlors in eight airports, including Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, while qualifying truck stops can operate up to five slot machine-style monitors called video gaming terminals. Only Nevada and Puerto Rico currently allow airport gambling.

Lawmakers expect the gambling legislation to produce about $200 million or more annually from casino license fees and taxes on higher gambling losses.

Pennsylvania casinos rake in more gross revenues than any other state except Nevada, according to figures from the American Gaming Association. But Pennsylvania is the No. 1 state in tax revenue from the casino industry, netting $1.4 billion in the most recent fiscal year. Pennsylvania's lottery is also one of the nation's biggest, delivering $1 billion in profits on $4 billion in sales, though its revenue has flattened.

The bill, a couple years in the making, emerged last week and won passage within 18 hours in both chambers of the Legislature despite opponents' protests that they barely had a chance to read it, warnings that it carried unforeseen consequences and complaints that it was packed with sweetheart deals for casinos and certain lawmakers' pet projects.

For instance, a provision that would repeal a long-standing limit on casino ownership in Pennsylvania could make moot a lawsuit that has held up construction of the Live! Hotel & Casino in Philadelphia.

The gambling bill passed as part of a broader package designed to break a four-month budget stalemate over how to wipe out a projected $2.2 billion deficit.

The compromise came together after House leaders dropped their long-standing demand that a gambling expansion favor bars and other liquor licensees, not casino owners.

On Monday, Wolf also signed other elements of the Legislature's package to bail out the state's finances, a $1.5 billion borrowing measure and a grab-bag of tax adjustments that could net $140 million a year.

Tony Hawk goes the extra mile to return a favor to young fan and it's epic

Tony Hawk goes the extra mile to return a favor to young fan and it's epic

You know him, you love him and now — there’s going to be a whole new level of respect for one of the greatest athletes in the world. 

Tony Hawk has been a household name for decades and even if you don’t follow the world of professional skateboarding, it’s not hard to recognize the legend that he is. 

Well, what he recently decided to do is just one of the best gestures we’ve seen in a long time. 

A boy named Cooper is a huge Hawk fan and was on a mission to send something to the pro. After chasing down and stopping his local FedEx truck down the street from his house, he asked if the delivery man could mail something for him. 

He quickly ran into his house to grab the item and returned to the truck holding a skateboard and asked if he could send it to Hawk. The board had almost been used to its limit — but on the bottom it had “Tony Hawk” and “Cooper” written on opposite ends.

It felt like a bit out of “Toy Story,” having a name written on the bottom of an item to show ownership — but the gesture was so wholesome, the delivery man said he would get that board to Hawk.  

Here comes the power of the internet. The delivery man, who is also a music artist in the making, used his platform and created a video in hopes to get in contact with the pro skater. He shared it on his TikTok u/fresh2deaf and it went viral overnight. 

@fresh2deaf

@tonyhawk ##fedex ##fedexlife ##fedexdriver

♬ original sound - fresh2deaf

Not even six hours after the initial video was posted, something epic happened — Hawk saw the video and responded to Cooper. Not only did he share his gratitude for the gesture of sending the board, but he wanted to make a fair trade and is sending him one of his own. 

@tonyhawk

♬ original sound - tonyhawk

I’m sure both boards will become memories that Cooper and Hawk will take with them forever. 

There is still good in the world — and Hawk was a clear reminder of that today. 

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Premier Lacrosse League announces 2020 Championship Series

Premier Lacrosse League announces 2020 Championship Series

Get ready lax fans, the Premier Lacrosse League is brewing something fun for the summer. 

After their inaugural season in 2019 being a huge success, many were looking forward for what was to come during their second go — though due to COVID-19, co-founder of the league, Paul Rabil, announced the postponement of the season that was supposed to kick-off at the end of May. 

The league consists of seven teams, where they hold a tour-based schedule over the course of 14 weeks. Throughout that time, teams travel to major market cities as an innovative and thrilling way to help grow the game. 10 weeks are dedicated to the regular season, with one All-Star weekend and three weeks of pure playoff chaos — in the best possible way. 

Now, while the plans have shifted, fans still have something to look forward to — as it was announced Wednesday that a new, fanless tournament, the PLL Championship Series, is set to take place this summer. 

The series is scheduled to take place July 25-August 9, weeks that were originally slotted for the 2020 Summer Olympics. It will be a 16-day event with 20 games and they will be broadcasted across NBC, NBCSN, NBC Sports Gold and will also be streamed online. 


(Image credit: Premier Lacrosse League) 

Those involved with the event will have to self-quarantine for a certain amount of time leading up to the tournament and the league has also formed a COVID-19 Medical Committee to ensure the safety of all participants. 

The Premier Lacrosse League is excited to be a leader in the return of pro sports this July,” said Rabil. Although we’ve pivoted our originally scheduled season to a full quarantined, finless model, our PLL Championship Series will bring sports fans an innovative and thrilling experience that only the best players in the world can provide. It’s taken a village of top-notch executives to develop.

While a location for the event has not been decided yet, the countdown is most certainly on. 

This tournament holds all of the potential to grow the ever-evolving game of lacrosse during a time with no sports. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.