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Pennsylvania may increase background checks on gaming licensees

Feb 15, 2011 Matt Roesly

A state House committee in Pennsylvania is considering whether or not to make the background screening for those in the gambling community more strict after controversy over who was issued a gaming license. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the State House Gaming Oversight Committee is close to passing a set of sweeping changes to a 2004 law that would take background screenings out of the hands of the Gaming Control Board and give the responsibility to the attorney general's office. The issue took center stage when the Gaming Control Board awarded a slot license to Louis DeNaples, despite the fact that the Scranton businessman is suspected of having ties to organized crime. One of the biggest issues the current decision makers have is that they are not a law enforcement agency and therefore cannot access FBI or state police records, unlike the Attorney General, who could. Other states have been calling for stricter background screenings in sensitive sectors. The commissioner of the Minnesota Commerce Department said that he was preparing to take action against several debt collection firms for not conducting proper background screenings of employees.