Friday, November 28, 2008

PA's secretive gambling board

There was always something fishy about the way gambling came to Pennsylvania.

At the prompting of Gov. Ed Rendell, the Legislature approved casino gambling with a middle-of-the-night vote on July 4, 2004, right before taking its summer vacation.

It's been downhill ever since.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review notes that the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board remains one of the most secretive in the nation.

From a Tribune-Review editorial:
The commonwealth's supposed gaming watchdog has conducted 128 private meetings ("executive sessions") but only 77 open meetings. Pennsylvanians have every right to know what is being done in their name and have every right to suspect the worst given the board's typical closed-door policy and closed-minded attitude about the public's right to know.
The newspaper also says the gaming board has had a checkered history:
The board's brief yet bumbling history includes its first chairman stepping down weeks after his appointment amid troubling questions about his background; two of its lawyers and an investigator being charged after bar fights in 2005 and 2006; and a former spokesman serving a prison sentence for involuntary manslaughter because, thanks to a drinking binge, he dropped his girlfriend from the 23rd floor of a Harrisburg high-rise.
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

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