Slot Operators Outline Progress On Permanent Facilities
Chairman Decker bids the Board Farewell
HARRISBURG: Top management from six of Pennsylvania's slot operators appeared before the Gaming Control Board yesterday and reported on the status of construction and updated plans for state-of-the-art permanent gaming venues.
Three of the operators, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Philadelphia Park Casino and Racetrack and The Meadows Racetrack and Casino began operations in temporary facilities either connected to or bordering their current grandstand facility. The other presenters, Hollywood Casino at Penn National, Mount Airy Resort & Casino, and Sands Bethworks will be moving directly into permanent facilities.
Presenting Wednesday on the status of their permanent facilities were:
- Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs: Robert J. Soper, President and CEO outlined the carefully constructed design of their facility based on regional elements, their market, and the Mohegan Sun brand. Anticipated opening is late summer 2008.
- Philadelphia Park Casino and Racetrack: David Jonas, COO and General Manager and Robert W. Green, President, informed the Board that they have made progress in the last several months in developing their master plan and should be in a position within two months to present to the Board their proposed plans for a stand-alone permanent facility.
- The Meadows Racetrack and Casino: William J. Downey, Fox Rothschild LLP and Michael Graninger, Vice President and General Manager, referenced a petition which they have submitted Board consideration which seeks approval of a modified site plan for The Meadows' permanent facility which includes a five story, 205-room hotel and an expanded gaming floor, food court and conference center.
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National: J. Gary Luderitz, Vice President & General Manager provided a status report on the construction of their casino and racing facility which is currently more than 50% completed and scheduled to open to the public in the first quarter of 2008.
- Mount Airy Resort & Casino: Owner Louis DeNaples and Joseph D'Amato, CEO reported that they are on track to be the first Category 2 stand-alone casino to open with 80% of the casino and restaurant currently completed. They indicated that Mount Airy is on schedule to commence its gaming operations on October 15, 2007.
- Sands Bethworks: Robert Desalvio, President, told the Board that they are moving forward with plans that will build on the unique history of the Bethworks site, but that redeveloping that brownfield site has slowed their progress due to some unexpected asbestos problems and larger then expected foundations from the old industrial structures. Sands Bethworks is now working towards an opening in the second quarter of 2009.
Also at the meeting, outgoing Board Chair Thomas "Tad" Decker officially passed the gavel to incoming Chair Judge Mary DiGiacomo Colins.
"It is with great pleasure that I have the opportunity to handoff the Chairmanship of this Board to a dedicated and exceptional public servant, Judge Colins" said Decker. "I leave the Board confident that Chair Colins and the other tremendously talented members will continue to ensure that legalized gaming will continue to develop and soon deliver the promise of property tax reform to Pennsylvania".
The next scheduled regular meeting of the Gaming Control Board will be held on Wednesday, September 12, 2007 in Philadelphia at Temple University beginning at 10:00 a.m.