Background Checks on Applicants Seeking a Gaming License In Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvanians Against Gambling Expansion Fund, Inc. v. Commonwealth, 583 Pa. 275, 877 A.2d 383, 393 (2005) (hereinafter, PAGE), the Supreme Court considered a challenge to the constitutionality of the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act, 4 Pa. C.S. 1101 - 1904, which began as a one page bill that provided the Pennsylvania State Police with the authority to perform background checks on applicants seeking a license from the State Horse and Harness Racing Commissions. After passing through three considerations in the House and two considerations in the Senate, the bill was extensively amended on its third consideration in the Senate. As amended, and eventually enacted, the 145 page bill created the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, established a number of special funds, authorized the issuance of gambling licenses for slot casinos, and among other things, set jurisdictional requirements upon the Supreme Court. In determining that the challenged legislation did not violate the original purpose requirement, the PAGE Court stated: Considering the original purpose in reasonably broad terms, we believe that here, and in this instance akin to our finding above regarding a single unifying subject, the original purpose of the bill was to regulate gaming. As finally passed, we find that the primary objective of the legislation was to regulate gaming. Based on the above, we conclude that the bill was not altered or amended to change its original purpose. Id.