Pennsylvania Gaming Licenses
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by: Glenn Haussman. Slots, Online casino gambling articles.
Pennsylvania has made if official: Slot machines are coming to the state before the end of the year, and five current racetrack owners have been issued licenses.
The lucky winners include Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, just outside Wilkes-Barre; Philadelphia Park in Bensalem; Harrah's Chester Casino & Racetrack; Penn National Race Course near Harrisburg; and The Meadows in suburban Pittsburgh.

Each entity will now have to fork over a $50 million licensing fee before the gaming can begin.

As many as nine more licenses are due to be approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board before the end of the year for gaming facilities that will not be tied to existing racetracks. There are a total of 21 applications vying for all the available licenses. When all licenses are issued there could be as many as 61,000 slot machines statewide.

“September 27, 2006, is an historic day for the people of Pennsylvania,” said Tad Decker, Chairman of the Gaming Control Board. “Now that these licenses have been approved, Pennsylvanians will soon begin to enjoy the benefits envisioned by the Governor and the Legislature when Act 71 became law in 2004: lower property taxes, new jobs and a reinvigorated horse-racing industry.”

A vote on a sixth applicant for a Conditional Category 1 license, Presque Isle Downs Inc. (Presque Isle Downs, Erie County), was delayed so Board members could have adequate time to review testimony and personal notes taken at that applicant’s Suitability Hearing held earlier today. In addition, further investigation is required. The facility is already under construction.

Under Act 71, the Gaming Control Board is authorized to award 14 slot-machine gaming licenses to facilities across Pennsylvania. Seven Category 1 licenses are authorized for horse-race tracks; five Category 2 licenses are authorized for standalone slots facilities - two in Philadelphia, one in Pittsburgh and two at tourism-enhanced locations across the state; and two Category 3 licenses are authorized for existing resorts.

The first slot facility expected to open is at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in November or December with about 1,080 slot machines.

Bruce S. Bozsum, Chairman of the Authority’s Management Board and the Mohegan Tribal Council, said, “The approval of this license is very important as it represents a significant milestone in the evolution of the Mohegan Tribe. This was also a critical step in our plans to be the first enterprise to offer both racing and gaming amenities in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and we are very proud of this achievement.”

Over at Penn National Gaming, a $310 million facility is under way and will initially include 2,000 slots when it opens its Hollywood Casino at Penn National in early 2008.
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Peter M. Carlino, Chief Executive Officer of Penn National commented, "We are grateful to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and its staff for their hard work in reviewing and considering our plans and application. Securing the conditional Category 1 license is another significant step in advancing one of Penn National's most important development projects. They Company's well developed Master Plan for the site and facility will ensure that Hollywood Casino at Penn National will be a quality entertainment center that elevates the thoroughbred pari-mutuel offering, while simultaneously driving economic development and job growth in the region and in the state."

The move to casino gaming in Pennsylvania is meant to keep lost tax dollars and gaming revenues in the state, much of which has been going to Atlantic City. Atlantic City is less than a one hour drive from Philadelphia. This move will put the majority of the state’s population within an hour’s drive of the a racetrack with slot machines.

The state predicts the casinos will pull in $3 billion a year in revenue once the facilities are all open.

-    Potential opening dates according to the Gaming Control Board are as follows:
-    Harrah's Chester Casino & Racetrack, January 2007;
-    Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, November 2006;
-    Penn National Race Course, November 2007
-    Presque Isle Downs, Sometime in 2007 if license is approved;
-    The Meadows, May 2007;
-    Philadelphia Park, December 2006

© Copyright 2006 Glen Haussman's material. It may not be published, broadcasted, rewritten, or redistributed.

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