The typical Parx gambler is a low-roller who lives
within 20 miles and drops $25 or $30 into the slots
three or four times a week.
Police: Ex-tax collector gambled taxpayer money
The former Jenkintown official blew more than $180,000 at Parx Casino, authorities said.
The slot machines at Bensalem's Philadelphia Park Parx Casino ka-chinged away.
Playing the high-limit slot machines, O'Neill lost $181,599 from Sept.14, 2007, through December 2009, according to the play usage recorded on his Player Card.
That card shows that O'Neill visited the casino 180 times during that time period.
The problem is not that O'Neill was losing but, according to Montgomery County authorities, he was losing taxpayers' money.
O'Neill, the former Jenkintown tax collector, Thursday was arrested on charges of theft and related offenses for stealing $226,973 in tax revenue that he had collected for the Jenkintown School District.
The sad part about this story is that it’s just the beginning, and as you’re reading there are not only other Pennsylvanians committing crimes to support their casino addiction but there are law abiding citizens who are mostly seniors who are gambling in our casinos excessively and have lost their savings and are now blowing their monthly fixed incomes. And even though Parx casino operators are aware of not only the excessive amount of time their patrons gamble along with their heavy losses through the Parx’s REWARD/CARD program they will never intervene. Now I’m not saying that the ex-tax collector who blew Montgomery County taxpayers money away in the Parx casino should not be held accountable for his actions but I am saying that the Parx’s casino operator should also be held accountable and should return the embezzled $181,599. The reason I say this is because if it was stolen merchandise like jewelry, art, or an automobile that was used to supports the thief’s casino addiction those items would be returned to their lawful owners.
This incident is why we must make our BILLION DOLLAR casino operators adapt to safeguards that address the compulsive casino gambling problem BEFORE one has the problem. Here in Pennsylvania I’ve been working with Rep. Paul Clymer on getting legislation passed that would make our casino operators send their patrons who they are already tracking with COMP/CARDS monthly statements. These statements would enable gamblers and their family members to spot a loved one's gambling problem BEFORE it gets out of hand.
Who knows how many Pennsylvanians and their innocents families would be in a better domestic and financial situation today when being made aware of their casino wins and mostly LOSSES month after month in black and white. This legislation has been put forth in our House and Senate in the last three sessions and has been the only legislation since our gaming law passed in 2004 that addresses the compulsive casino gambling problem ‘BEFORE’ one has the problem.