PGCB Announces Application Period For Resort Licenses
Also Updates Rules Governing Category 3 Licenses
HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today announced that it will accept applications for the two Category 3 slot machine licenses at resort hotels beginning April 20, 2007. The application period will run for 60 days.
The Race Horse Development and Gaming Act defines the eligibility as facilities at well-established resort hotels having no fewer than 275 guest rooms under common ownership and having substantial year-round recreational guest amenities. Up to 500 slot machines can be operated at the licensed facility, but only for use by patrons of the resort and its amenities.
In relation to this application period, the Board also approved regulations that clearly define the criteria that resorts need to meet in order to qualify for a Category 3 license. These changes came after the Board received testimony from a number of individuals at its last regular meeting regarding the legislative intent of qualifying language for these licenses in the Gaming Act along with suggestions on regulation changes that would make this category of license attractive to potential applicants. Last year, two applicants applied for Category 3 licenses, but pulled out prior to award.
Among the regulation changes today were:
- The definition of "well-established resort" has been amended to specify that the applicant must have 275 guest rooms at the time of application.
- A new definition of "common ownership" has been added to clarify that timeshares offered for rent to the general public may be included in the 275 room count.
- The definition of the term "non-de minimis consideration" has been amended to replace the $25 dollar threshold with a "fair market value of not less than $10".
- Allowing holders of a seasonal or year-round Board-approved membership to one or more of the resort's amenities with year-round access to the gaming floor, and individuals who purchase the use of one of the resort's amenities with single use access to the gaming floor within 72 hours of the use of the amenity.
- Requiring the applicant to include a plan in its application and as part of its internal controls explaining how it will control admission to the gaming floor.
At today's meeting, the Board approved actions related to the January 22, 2007 incident at Philadelphia Park Casino and Racetrack in which errors led to an erroneous jackpot of $102,005 to a patron. That payout was later made to the patron.
As part of the order, Philadelphia Park agreed to implement remedial internal control procedures regarding the modification and testing of the system that caused the error and will:
- Contribute $10,000 to the Compulsive and Problem Gaming Treatment Fund
- Pay a $10,000 civil penalty, and
- Reimburse the PGCB $9,995 for its investigative costs
The next regularly scheduled Board meeting will be held in Hearing Room 1 of the North Office Building in Harrisburg on April 19, 2007 beginning at 12:00 noon.