Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Schedules Information And Public Input Hearings For Philadelphia Casino
HARRISBURG, PA: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced today that it has requested that all applicants for the available Category 2 casino license in Philadelphia present their proposals in a public forum on February 12, 2013 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
This event will begin at 9:00 a.m. and will enable each of the six applicants for the casino license to present their proposals to the public in advance of the Board’s public input hearings on the projects.
“It is important that the Board place as much information as possible in the public domain prior to accepting comment from citizens,” Board Chairman William H. Ryan, Jr. said. “Coupled with the release of information on our web site, the full-day February event will allow everyone the opportunity to see first-hand the plans for each of these casinos.”
Ryan said the February 12th information-only session will not include public comment, but is the first step in a process that will later include opportunities for those interested in speaking on the subject to put their positions on the record before the Board during public input hearings.
“Throughout this process, we will make every effort to not only give the applicants every opportunity to make a case in support of their projects, but we will also make sure the public has ample opportunity to be heard,” Ryan said.
The Board also announced that it will hold public input hearings on the proposals at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Thursday April 11th from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and on Friday April 12th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Board will schedule additional days for public input if needed and will begin accepting registrations through its web site on March 4, 2013 from government officials, organizations and individuals who would like to testify in April. The Board will also begin accepting written public comment in March from any person who is unable to present oral testimony.
In announcing the public input hearings, the Board noted that those hearings will not trigger intervention rights under the Board’s regulations. Rather, parties seeking to intervene will be required to do so no later than 45 days prior to the Board’s suitability hearings on each of the applicants. Those hearings have not yet been scheduled and will likely not occur until the late summer or early fall of 2013, at the earliest.
For those unable to attend the February 12th presentations or April’s public input hearings in person, all events will be streamed live and also recorded for later viewing on the Board’s web site.
A Category 2 stand-alone license enables the casino operator to have up to 5,000 slot machines and 250 tables games. Applications received are:
- Tower Entertainment, LLC (The Provence) at 400 North Broad Street
- Market East Associates, LP (Casino Philadelphia) at 8th and Market Street
- Wynn PA, Inc. (Wynn Philadelphia) at 2001 Beach Street, and 2001 through 2005 Richmond Street
- PHL Local Gaming, LLC (Casino Revolution) at 3333 South Front Street
- PA Gaming Ventures, LLC (Hollywood Casino Philadelphia) at 700 Packer Avenue
- Stadium Casino, LLC (Live! Hotel and Casino) at 900 Packer Avenue
The Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act permits the Board to award up to five Category 2 slot machine operator licenses, with at least two of those being in the City of Philadelphia. Four of the five licenses, including one of the two licenses for Philadelphia, have been awarded and each of those casinos is now operating.
The Board previously awarded two such licenses to Philadelphia applicants in December 2006. One of the Philadelphia awards was to HSP Gaming, LP, which opened the SugarHouse Casino in September 2010. The second award was made to Philadelphia Entertainment & Development Partners, LP which intended to open the Foxwoods Casino Philadelphia. That license holder, however, was unable to construct and open that casino, and the Board revoked the license in December 2010. Following court appeals, the revocation decision was upheld in March of this year.
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 30 years, the Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of the state’s casino industry. The 11 casinos in operation all offer both slot machine and table game gambling, employ over 16,000 people, and collectively generate an average of $4 million per day in tax revenue. A portion of that money is used for property tax reduction to all Pennsylvania homeowners; provide funds to the Commonwealth’s horse racing industry, fire companies, a statewide water and sewer project grant program, and the state’s General Fund; and, established a new stream of tax revenue to local governments that host casinos for community projects.
A wealth of information about the Gaming Control Board’s regulatory efforts and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov. At this website, visitors can watch Board meetings live or view videos of past meetings, look up future meeting schedules and past meeting transcripts, obtain information on identifying a gambling problem and gaining assistance, access an interactive map of casino locations, request a speaker for their group, along with much more information. You can also follow the agency on Twitter by choosing @PAGamingControl.
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