December 15th, 2004


Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
Commonwealth Tower, Strawberry Square
303 Walnut Street, 5th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101


Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey (717) 346-8321

PA Gaming Board Backs Background Checks For Potential Employees, Suppliers, Manufacturers

HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, charged by statute with overseeing the implementation of expanded gaming in the Commonwealth, today authorized the Pennsylvania State Police to conduct background checks on potential Board employees, and on potential gaming machine manufacturers and gaming machine suppliers.

“It is absolutely essential that Board employees have backgrounds that are above reproach, and the same standard must apply to the manufacturers and suppliers of gaming machines and their principals,” Chairman Thomas A. Decker said. “The Pennsylvania State Police has the experience, professionalism and resources to conduct the background investigations the Board requires.”

The Board also authorized Decker to negotiate a contract with Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP, an internationally recognized consulting firm with extensive experience in the gaming industry, for consulting services related to policy and staffing issues.

“The Board has to address a number of extraordinarily complex issues in the next few months, and Pricewaterhouse Coopers is the kind of firm that can get us the information we will need to move forward.”

In other business today, the Board:

• Adopted an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action plan, with the acknowledgement that it is a work in progress that will be added to in the future.

• Prohibited proxy and surrogate voting by members at its public meetings while permitting telephone or videoconference participation by members at the Chairman’s discretion.

Under Act 71, passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Edward G. Rendell in July, the leader of each of the four legislative caucuses names one voting member, while the Governor names three, including the Chairman. Most Board votes must pass by a “qualified majority” consisting of the four legislative appointees and one of the Governor’s appointees. All of the Board’s actions today passed unanimously.