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Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell Blasts 60 Minutes During Interview on Gambling

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jan/08/2011
Ed Rendell

In a segment on Sunday’s 60 Minutes, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell lashed out at correspondent Leslie Stahl for her questioning related to gambling expansion in that state. 

The exchange went as follows:

RENDELL: "The biggest downside is that some people lose their paychecks. But understand, Lesley, they're not losing their paychecks because Pennsylvania instituted gaming. These people were losing their paychecks in Atlantic City, in Delaware at the racetracks, or in West Virginia."

STAHL: "So why not lose it here . . ."

Rendell: "Well, if they were going to lose it anyway, let's get the upside. We were getting all the downside and none of the upside."

STAHL: "The counter-argument is that you're creating new gamblers. And lots of new gamblers."

RENDELL: "We're not creating new gamblers."

STAHL: "Well, 'cause it's down the street."

RENDELL: "Those people play the lottery. They bet on football. How much money is bet on the Super Bowl."

STAHL: "People are losing money for the state to get its revenue. They're losing money."

RENDELL: "Let me answer this. You . . . you've . . . I've always . . . I've known, uh, for two or three decades, you're a very smart person."

STAHL: "But not now."

RENDELL: "But you're not getting it."

STAHL: "I'm dumb now."

RENDELL: "You're not getting it. Those people would lose that money anyway. Don't you understand? You guys don't get that. You're simpletons. You're idiots if you don't get that . . . That's the answer and it's the right answer."

Pennsylvania has aggressively pursued opening new casinos, stealing away business from neighboring New Jersey and its casino hot spot, Atlantic City.

Patrons lost $2.3 billion at Pennsylvania casinos last year, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Stahl has covered the online gambling sector for 60 Minutes in the past, enraging some gamblers who claimed her reports were slanted in favor of anti-gambling zealots. 

Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl, who helped draft legislation that makes it illegal for banks to process payments affiliated with some forms of online gambling, including Internet poker, was given plenty of air time during Stahl’s 2006 interview (prior to passage of the online gambling prohibition). 

“Our kids have access to the Internet,” he said at the time.  “They’re frequently not supervised. And you can run up a huge debt on your folks’ credit card very, very quickly.”

Most, if not all, gambling websites have safeguards that make it extremely difficult for kids to play for real money on the sites. 

The Rendell interview was taped back in August.  He has not issued a comment on the segment prior to its airing though he made headlines two weeks ago, blasting a decision two postpone the Minnesota Vikings vs. Philadelphia Eagles game due to a blizzard. 

"It's an absolute joke," Rendell told Fox at the time.

"I was looking forward to this. It would have been a real experience. This is what football is all about,"

The outgoing Governor claimed that Vince Lombardi was probably turning over in his grave

"We're becoming a nation

- Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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