Gaming Control Board Grants First Authorizations To Conduct Table Games At Pennsylvania Casinos
First table games expected to be live after mid-year
HARRISBURG: Two Pennsylvania casinos gained Gaming Control Board approval today of its petitions to conduct table games.
Downs Racing, LP, operators of Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Luzerne County, and Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, Inc., operators of parx casino/Philadelphia Park Racetrack in Bucks County, were the first two licensed slots facilities in the Commonwealth to receive Board approval for table games. Both expect to offer live table games some time mid-year 2010.
Officials from the two casinos told the Board at its public meeting today that together they would create almost 1,000 new full-time jobs to support their expansions into table games. In addition, each informed the Board that it has the financial wherewithal to pay the state-mandated $16.5 million table games fee by June 1st of this year and will dedicate millions of additional dollars toward construction at their facilities to accommodate table games.
Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Chairman Greg Fajt said that this approval is just one step in the process of getting table games up and running in Pennsylvania. According to Fajt, casinos must still meet obligations under its internal controls, gain approval of staffing levels and gaming floor plans, and satisfy Board regulations and any conditions that may be placed on the table games certificate.
“The Board and the casinos still have a tremendous amount of work in front of them before the public will be able to enjoy table games,” said Fajt. “Everyone is working well together to move this process along, but the expectation is that it will still take three to six more months until table games are operating.”
In addition to the items mentioned by Fajt, the PGCB still needs to complete a number of other items in the coming months in order to roll out table games, such as:
- Obtain applications and perform background investigations on thousands of new employees to be hired at the casinos as the result of expansion into table games. These include dealers, table game supervisors, count room personnel, surveillance and other support staff.
- Conduct background investigations for licensing of new manufacturers, suppliers and vendors that will provide goods and services for table games.
- Assure that each casino will accommodate the higher level of needed surveillance to monitor table game play.
- Hire and train additional PGCB staff to provide onsite compliance and auditing.
Fajt also lauded public officials and citizens who provided comments to the Board during the public hearings held in the municipalities that host Mohegan and parx.
“The public is instrumental in this process and we look forward to hearing from others throughout the state as more hearings are held in the coming weeks on the issue of approving table games at the individual casinos,” he said.
Senate Bill 711, now Act 1 of 2010, provides authorization for existing Pennsylvania casinos to conduct table games through the filing of a petition with, and approval by, the Gaming Control Board. As of March 16, 2010, nine Category 1 and 2 operating casinos, along with one Category 2 casino being built in Philadelphia, have petitioned the Board to operate table games. Hearings have been held in the municipalities where a casino operates for three of the petitions while three additional hearings have been scheduled. Four other hearings are expected to be scheduled in the coming weeks as submitted petitions are deemed complete. All information on the table games public hearings is available on the Gaming Control Board’s web site, www.pgcb.state.pa.us.
Each Category 1 and 2 facility that is approved by the Board to operate table games must pay a licensure fee of $16.5 million on or before June 1, 2010, or $24.75 million after June 1, 2010. Those facilities can conduct gaming at up to 250 tables in addition to operating up to 5,000 slot machines.
A Category 3 Resort facility that plans to operate table games must pay a licensure fee is $7.5 million on or before June 1, 2010, or $11.75 million after June 1, 2010. A Category 3 facility, which can also operate up to 600 slot machines, can have a maximum of 75 table games.
Details of Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Table Games Startup Proposal:
- Banking Games – 65 total consisting of 46 Blackjack tables, 4 Craps tables, 4 Roulette tables, 4 Three-Card Poker tables, 2 Mini Baccarat tables, 2 Pia Gow Poker tables and 3 Spanish 21 tables
- Non-Banking Games - 16 Poker Tables
- Fully Automated Electronic Gaming Table - 1 Blackjack Machine
- Additional Jobs to be Created by Table Games – 596 full-time
- Estimated yearly taxes generated to Commonwealth from table play - $6.6 million
- Table Games Training – provided at facility
Details of parx casino Table Games Startup Proposal:
- Banking Games – 57 total consisting of 39 Blackjack tables, 4 Craps tables, 5 Roulette tables, 5 Three-Card Poker tables and 4 Baccarat tables
- Non-Banking Games - none
- Fully Automated Electronic Gaming Table- 12 Blackjack, 10 Three-Card Poker and 1 Baccarat
- Electronic Gaming Tables - 6 Blackjack, 2 Three-Card Poker and 1 Roulette
- Additional Jobs to be Created by Table Games – 385 full-time
- Estimated yearly taxes generated to Commonwealth from table play - $14.4 million
- Table Games Training – provided at facility
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 40 years, the Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of the state’s casino industry. To date, with nine of a maximum fourteen casinos in operation, legalized gaming in the Commonwealth has created over 8,000 new living wage jobs, revenue that has provided property tax reduction in each of the past two years for all homeowners, and funds that have reinvigorated Pennsylvania’s horse racing industry. A wealth of information about the Gaming Control Board and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at www.pgcb.state.pa.us. At this web site, videos and information on the operation of the PGCB, problem gambling efforts and assistance, future meeting schedules and past meeting transcripts, and a link to request a speaker are among the many items available.
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