The quest of Pete Schwartzkopf for bringing more casinos to Delaware which he has entertained for more than three years faced yet another hurdle to come to a standstill on Wednesday. His latest attempts at expanding legal gambling beyond the now existing the racetrack casinos have been squashed by the votes from a House committee. Schwartzkopf’s bill, which will authorize two new casinos in Sussex and New Castle counties respectively, is still not dead though.
Schwartzkopf told the governor that he and his aides are now considering using a maneuver which hasn’t been used very often, and which brings the measure in front of the Full House before the end of the legislative session on the 30th of June.
The bill was debated for nearly two and a half hours on Wednesday by the House Gaming and Parimutuels Committee. They argued on whether the gambling market of Delaware has any more room to grow or if it has been saturated by the increasing pressure of the competitors from Maryland and Pennsylvania. It appeared that by the end the panel was inclined towards not expanding and in the ending moments the casinos along with their allies espoused slogans of “three is enough”. The end of the session saw a 6 to 5 vote by the lawmakers for not releasing the bill to the full house.
The casinos first become crucial for the government of Delaware in saving the horseracing industry after they opened up in 1965. They account for more than $200 million of annual revenue for the government of the state, a number which has increased drastically in recent years. The industry is currently the fourth largest source of income for the treasury of the state. The arguments by Schwartzkopf and his allies on the panel said that expansion of the industry will not only generate hundreds and thousands of jobs for the citizens of the state, but it will also increase the revenue of the industry by hundreds of millions of dollars for the state which will help it in its recovery from the recent economic recession.