Senators lambaste gaming oversight

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Senators on Thursday complained that state gambling regulators too often operate out of the public view and alleged the Gaming Control Board isn’t doing enough to protect taxpayers.
Board Chairman Mary DiGiacomo Colins said her agency has been “very transparent” and is free from improper influence.
“I have to believe that if there’s any state agency that ranks lower than the governor or the Legislature in (public trust), I’m looking at it,” Sen. John Rafferty, R-Montgomery County, said during an often-contentious hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The board wants the Legislature to increase its $33 million budget by $2.4 million. Gov. Ed Rendell, seeking to close a $2.3 billion state budget gap, proposed freezing the board’s budget. Little about the board’s finances came up during the hearing, as lawmakers unleashed pent-up frustrations on a board many of them say is unresponsive and opaque.

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