Gaming Control Board Grants Authorization To Conduct Table Games At Two Western Pennsylvania Casinos
Board and casinos continue to work toward mid-year implementation of table games
HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today approved the petitions of two casinos to conduct table games, bringing to seven the total of casinos that has gained this approval.
Approved by the Board today, following conclusion of the public hearing process were:
- Presque Isle Downs, Inc., operator of the Presque Isle Downs and Casino in Erie County
- Washington Trotting Association, Inc., operator of The Meadows Race Track and Casino in Washington County
In March, the operators of Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Luzerne County and the parx Casino/Philadelphia Park Racetrack in Bucks County gained Board approval of their petitions to operate table games, and earlier this April, approvals were granted to the operators of Mount Airy Casino Resort in Monroe County, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Dauphin County and Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Northampton County.
Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Chairman Greg Fajt says significant progress continues to be made in getting staff and casinos in position to begin offering table games during the summer.
“Our parallel goals are to prepare our staff to properly protect the public’s interest as Pennsylvania expands into table games while working with the casinos to spur the creation of more living wage jobs and tax revenue as quickly as possible,” Fajt says. “While our process must be thorough and the introduction of table games cannot occur unless we are fully prepared for the additional oversight responsibilities, the Board continues to work toward a rollout of table games sometime in July of 2010.”
The two casinos approved today each finished their own public hearing prior to today’s regular Board meeting, a process that began earlier this year in each of the respective municipalities. At today’s hearing, the two casinos explained to the Board that they would jointly create over 1,050 new jobs to support their expansions into table games. In addition, both informed the Board that it has the financial wherewithal to pay the state-mandated $16.5 million table games certification fee by June 1st of this year and will each dedicate millions of additional dollars toward construction at their facilities to accommodate table games.
Senate Bill 711, now Act 1 of 2010, provides authorization for existing Pennsylvania casinos to conduct table games through the filing of a petition with, and approval by, the Gaming Control Board. As of today, all nine currently operating Category 1 and 2 casinos, along with one Category 2 casino being built in Philadelphia, have petitioned the Board to operate table games, and nine public input hearings have been held in the municipalities where a casino operates.
Each Category 1 and 2 facility approved by the Board can conduct gaming at up to 250 tables in addition to operating up to 5,000 slot machines.
Details of Presque Isle Downs and Casino Table Games Startup Proposal:
- Banking Games – 48 total consisting of 26 Blackjack tables, 6 Craps tables, 4 Roulette tables, 4 Three-Card Poker tables, 2 Four-Card Poker tables, 2 Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker tables, 1 Pai Gow Poker table, 2 Let It Ride tables and 1 Mini-Baccarat table
- Additional Jobs to be Created by Table Games – 500 total consisting of 400 full-time and 100 part-time
- Employment of construction workers for 30,000 man-hours of work for renovations of the gaming facility
- Table Games Training – provided at off-site facility
Details of The Meadows Racetrack and Casino Table Games Startup Proposal:
- Banking Games – 42 total consisting of 25 Blackjack tables, 5 Craps tables, 3 Roulette tables, 2 Mini Baccarat tables, 4 Pai Gow Poker tables, 2 Three-Card Poker tables, and 1 Big Six Wheel
- Non-Banking Games – 20 Poker tables
- Additional Jobs to be Created by Table Games – 549 total
- Table Games Training – provided at facility
All information on the table games public hearings is available by clicking of the Table Games Public Input Hearings link on the home page of the Gaming Control Board’s web site, www.pgcb.state.pa.us.
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, funds that have reinvigorated Pennsylvania’s horse racing industry, and new revenue to local governments that has funded scores of community projects. 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, an interactive map of casino locations, and a link to request a speaker are among the many items available.
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