Gaming Control Board Receives Three Category 3 Resort License Applications During Special 90 Day Period
HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today announced that three applications were filed during the special 90 day period established by the Pennsylvania Legislature in January to receive additional applications for the remaining Category 3 license. A Category 3 license authorizes an established hotel resort to operate up to 600 slot machines and up to 50 table games. Applications were to be postmarked no later than April 7, 2010.
The following submitted applications:
Mason-Dixon Resorts, LP
Eisenhower Hotel, Conference Center and Resort, 2634 Emmitsburg Road, Gettysburg, PA
Cumberland Township, Adams County
Woodlands Fayette, LLC
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, 1001 Lafayette Drive, Farmington, PA
Wharton Township, Fayette County
Penn Harris Gaming, LP
Holiday Inn Harrisburg West, 5401 Carlisle Pike, Mechanicsburg, PA
Hampden Township, Cumberland County
Prior to the legislatively established 90 day period the board had received two other applications:
Bushkill Group, Inc.
Fernwood Hotel and Resort, East Stroudsburg, PA
Middle Smithfield Township, Monroe County
Wyo Gaming, LP
Crown Plaza Reading, Wyomissing, PA
Wyomissing Borough, Berks County
According to Susan Hensel, Director of the Bureau of Licensing, Gaming Control Board staff will now conduct a preliminary review of the new applications to determine if they include the applicable forms along with the additional information and documentation required by the Gaming Act or Board’s regulations. In addition, all required fees and a bond or letter of credit is required to be included with the application.
“If an application submission fails to include one or more of these preliminary items, the applicant will be notified that the application has not been accepted for filing and will be given an opportunity to cure the deficiencies,” Hensel says. “If the applicant fails to cure the deficiencies in the time period provided, the submission will be returned to the applicant.”
Hensel adds that if the application is accepted for filing, the Bureau of Licensing conducts a more detailed completeness review of the application package.
“The completeness review is designed to ensure that every question in each application is answered and that all required information and documentation is provided,” she says.
After this more detailed review, the Bureau of Licensing would notify the applicant of any deficiencies and once again provide the applicant an opportunity to cure the deficiencies.
This process is ongoing, and not limited in any time frame, until all required information and documentation is obtained by the Bureau of Licensing. Once an application is determined to be complete, the Bureau of Licensing transmits the application to the Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement for investigation.
In addition, Hensel concludes that a determination must also be made on the applicant’s eligibility for a Category 3 license. In order to be eligible, the resort hotel must have no fewer than 275 guest rooms under common ownership, be more than 15 linear miles from any other Pennsylvania-licensed slot machine casino, and already offer substantial year-round recreational guest amenities on their premises.
In addition, the Act, and accompanying regulations established by the Board, restricts who can enter the gaming area of a Category 3 casino. Those permitted to utilize the gaming facility include registered overnight guests and patrons utilizing one or more of the resort-offered amenities, including individuals holding a Board-approved and valid seasonal or year-round membership to use those amenities.
The first of the two Category 3 licenses was awarded to Valley Forge Resort Casino on April 8, 2009. The Valley Forge Resort Casino has indicated it will set an opening date pending the outcome of an appeal of the Board’s licensing decision by Category 1 operator Philadelphia Park Casino in Bensalem.
Thus far, 12 licenses have been awarded, with nine now operational. Of those 12 facilities, six are located at horse racing facilities (Category 1 licenses), five are located at stand alone casinos (Category 2 licenses) and 1 is a resort casino (Category 3 license).
About the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was established in 2004 with the passage of Act 71, also known as the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act. Pennsylvania’s first new state agency in nearly 40 years, the Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of the state’s casino industry. To date, with nine of a maximum fourteen casinos in operation, legalized gaming in the Commonwealth has created over 8,000 new living wage jobs, revenue that has provided property tax reduction in each of the past two years for all homeowners, and funds that have reinvigorated Pennsylvania’s horse racing industry. A wealth of information about the Gaming Control Board and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at www.pgcb.state.pa.us. At this web site, videos and information on the operation of the PGCB, problem gambling efforts and assistance, future meeting schedules and past meeting transcripts, and a link to request a speaker are among the many items available.
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