PA Gaming Control Board Defends Licensing Decisions Through Responses To State Supreme Court
HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Thursday responded in defense of legal challenges to its December 20, 2006 licensing decisions for stand alone slots facilities which awarded licenses to PITG Majestic Star in Pittsburgh; HSP and Foxwoods in Philadelphia; Sands Bethworks in Bethlehem and Mt. Airy Lodge in the Poconos. A total of three briefs were delivered to the State Supreme Court and are available for download at www.pgcb.state.pa.us.
The three briefs are in response to the appeals of the unsuccessful applicants: Isle of Capri and Station Square in Pittsburgh; Riverwalk Casino in Philadelphia, and Pocono Manor in the Poconos. Other unsuccessful applicants, Keystone Redevelopment (Trumpstreet) and Pinnacle Entertainment in Philadelphia; Tropicana in Allentown, and Crossroads in Gettysburg did not appeal the decisions.
Under the state Gaming Act, the Supreme Court is "vested with exclusive appellate jurisdiction to consider appeals of any final order, determination or decision of the board involving the approval, issuance, denial or conditioning of a slot machine license." The Court has set a May 15th date to receive oral arguments from both the Gaming Board and the four applicants who were denied these Category 2 licenses.
Frank Donaghue, Chief Counsel for the Board, says the Board is convinced its decisions made at a public vote last year were correct and done through a fair and legal process.
"We fully believe that the substantial record which was developed through a lengthy and thorough public hearing process clearly supports the Board's selection of the best applicants. The Board is confident that the substantial evidence and law cited to the Court in our briefs will persuade the Court to uphold the licensing decisions made upon the sound reasons set forth in the Board's original written decisions," Donaghue says.
Executive Director Anne Neeb says the Board looks forward to presenting its case to the Supreme Court on May 15th and hopes this matter can be resolved swiftly so that citizens can begin to benefit from the revenues to be gained from these facilities.