Gaming Control Board Speakers Bureau Continues To Help Educate the Public On Gaming Issues
HARRISBURG: Employees of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, including Chairman Greg Fajt, have presented information on legalized gaming to scores of community groups during the past year as part of the agency’s highly successful Speaker’s Bureau.
And, the Board’s Executive Director is urging organizations to continue to take advantage of this free service.
“Pennsylvania gaming regulators are being sought by community and professional organizations alike to share their expertise on matters related to legalized casino gaming,” says the Board’s Executive Director Kevin O’Toole. “We believe an essential element of our jobs, as public servants, is to both inform citizens of our work and listen to their concerns.”
Chairman Fajt agrees that it’s important for the agency to help the public learn more about the new gaming industry beyond what might appear in the media.
“In my many appearances before service and business organizations, I have found that Pennsylvanians are seeking perspective on how the new gaming industry has impacted them and their communities,” Fajt says. “Providing the opportunity to hear first-hand how this agency is working to grow jobs and revenue from legalized gaming while protecting our citizens through strong oversight is why we are meeting in local communities face-to-face.”
Fajt says public talks by himself or other Gaming Control Board staff range from a statewide perspective of the impact of casinos and gaming in Pennsylvania to a more local look at how the new industry is impacting the residents where the talk is being held.
“We have a great story to tell about how casinos have created jobs, spent considerable money with local businesses, and pushed new tax revenue into all parts of the Commonwealth,” Fajt says. “At the same time, our talks never shy away from matters such as compulsive gambling and crime, and we always take questions and listen to the public’s concerns.”
Over the past two years, PGCB speakers have addressed service organizations such as the Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis and Exchange clubs, along with AARP groups and Chambers of Commerce. A common presentation will last between 20 and 30 minutes with additional time for questions.
Any group interested in obtaining the free services of someone from the Gaming Control Board to address their organization can make the request at the home page of the Board’s web site, www.pgcb.state.pa.us.
About the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was established in 2004 with the passage of Act 71, also known as the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act. Pennsylvania’s first new state agency in nearly 40 years, the Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of the state’s casino industry. Currently, the ten casinos in operation in the Commonwealth employ over 14,000 people. Legalized gaming has generated over $4.7 billion in tax revenue since the first casino opening in November 2006. That money is enabling property tax reduction for all Pennsylvania homeowners, providing needed funding to Commonwealth’s horse racing industry, and establishing a new stream of tax revenue to local governments for community projects. A wealth of information about the Gaming Control Board and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at www.pgcb.state.pa.us. At this web site, visitors can view videos of Board meetings and on the operation of the PGCB, obtain information on identifying a gambling problem and gaining assistance, look up future meeting schedules and past meeting transcripts, access an interactive map of casino locations, request a speaker for their group, along with much more information
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