PA Gaming Control Board To Hold Public Hearing October 15th On Sands Casino Bethlehem License Renewal
Public is Welcome and Invited to Participate
HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today announced that it would hold a public hearing on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 to gather evidence, including public comment, on the renewal of the casino license of Sands Bethworks, LLC, operator of Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Northampton County.
The hearing will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the Bethlehem Town Hall located at 10 E. Church Street in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Citizens, community groups and elected officials wishing to present oral or written testimony, which will become part of the evidentiary record in this matter, can now register by clicking on a special link on the Quick Links section of homepage on the PGCB website, www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov. The deadline for registration to speak at the hearing is noon on Friday, October 11th.
Written comments can also be mailed, with a postmark no later than October 12th, to the PA Gaming Control Board, P.O. Box 69060, Harrisburg, PA 17106, Attention: Board Secretary. The comments can also be faxed prior to that deadline to 717-346-8350.
Pursuant to section 1326 of the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act, all licenses shall be subject to renewal every three years. The renewal application must include an update of the information contained in the initial application.
To implement the renewal requirement, the Board utilizes a two-step process:
First is the October 15th public hearing held by the PGCB's Office of Hearings and Appeals for the purpose of receiving documentary evidence, hearing testimony and building a record upon which the Board will base its licensing decision. The hearing record, along with a report from the Director of Hearings and Appeals, will be transmitted to the Board.
The second step is to hold a public hearing in Harrisburg where Board members can ask additional questions and the parties may offer oral argument. At the renewal hearings, the burden is on the renewal applicant to establish and demonstrate, by clear and convincing evidence, its eligibility and suitability for renewal of its license. During the hearing, the licensee will be given the opportunity to demonstrate, among other things, its good character, honesty and integrity; compliance with its statement of conditions; tax revenue generated; jobs created; amenities added since opening of the casino; success in implementing its diversity plan, and involvement in the surrounding community.
Following these proceedings, the Board will then be able to determine whether or not the licensee remains eligible and suitable consistent with the laws of the Commonwealth, and is otherwise qualified to have its license renewed for a three-year period.
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 12 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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