Federal Court Overturns PA Ban on Gambling Contributions - State and Federal Communications

September 20, 2018  •  

Federal Court Overturns PA Ban on Gambling Contributions

The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania overturned the Commonwealth’s prohibition on political contributions from gaming-license applicants, licensees, and principals of licensees.

Judge Sylvia Rambo concluded Section 1513 of the Gaming Act is an unconstitutional limit on the First Amendment right of political association. Rambo stated the prohibition furthers a substantially important interest in preventing corruption, but is not closely drawn to achieve that interest.

The judgment opens the possibility for the Legislature to rewrite the statute to be narrowly tailored to achieve its purpose.

The Gaming Control Board is also reviewing the option to appeal the decision to the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

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