May 13th, 2010


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


Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey (717) 346-8321

Gaming Control Board Grants Authorization To Conduct Table Games At Harrah's Chester Casino

HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today approved the petition of Chester Downs and Marina, LLC, operator of Harrah’s Chester Casino & Racetrack, to conduct table games.

The decision at the Board’s public meeting in Harrisburg brings to eight the total casinos that have gained table games approval. In March, the operators of Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Luzerne County and the parx Casino/Philadelphia Park Racetrack in Bucks County gained Board approval of their petitions to operate table games, and in April, approvals were granted to the operators of Mount Airy Casino Resort in Monroe County, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Dauphin County, Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Northampton County, Presque Isle Downs and Casino in Erie County, and The Meadows Race Track and Casino in Washington County.

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Chairman Greg Fajt says he is delighted with the incredible work of the staff in moving the table games process forward.

“The Gaming Control Board staff continues to work swiftly, but thoroughly, in its efforts to provide table games gambling in Pennsylvania casinos by mid-summer,” Fajt says. “There is still much work ahead within our agency and at the casinos, but I remain confident that we will meet the timetable envisioned by the Legislature and the public when the table games law was passed in January.”

Fajt also notes that implementation of table games will not only increase the overall tax revenue generated by legalized gaming, but will immediately create another 4,000 jobs.

Harrah’s Chester Casino & Racetrack finished its public hearing prior to today’s regular Board meeting, a process that began on April 20, 2010 with a public input hearing in the city of Chester. At today’s hearing, casino representatives explained to the Board that they would jointly create 681 new jobs to support its expansions into table games, and that it has the financial wherewithal to pay the state-mandated $16.5 million table games certification fee by June 1st of this year. Harrah’s will also dedicate over $19 million toward expansion of their facility to accommodate table games which will create 85 construction jobs during the expansion process.

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 today, all nine currently operating Category 1 and 2 casinos, along with one Category 2 casino being built in Philadelphia, have petitioned the Board to operate table games, and nine public input hearings have been held in the municipalities where a casino operates.

Each Category 1 and 2 facility approved by the Board can conduct gaming with up to 250 tables in addition to operating up to 5,000 slot machines.

Details of Harrah’s Chester Casino & Racetrack Table Games Startup Proposal:

  • Banking Games –86 total consisting of 51 Blackjack tables, 6 Craps tables, 6 Double Zero Roulette tables, 6 Three-Card Poker tables, 2 Four-Card Poker tables, 2 Ultimate Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker tables, 2 Pai Gow Poker tables, 2 Let It Ride tables, 2 Mini-Baccarat tables, 6 Midi-Baccarat tables, and 1 Big Six Wheel table.
  • Non-Banking Games – 25 Poker tables
  • Additional Jobs to be Created by Table Games – 681
  • Facility expansion project that will utilize 85 construction workers
  • Table Games Training – provided at facility

The Board will next hold a public hearing on the table games petition submitted by SugarHouse HSP Gaming, L.P, operator of the SugarHouse Casino at 10:00 am in the Community College of Philadelphia’s Winnet Student Life Building Great Hall s2.19, located at 17th Street between Spring Garden & Callowhill Streets in Philadelphia. All information on this hearing along with all previously held table games public hearings is available by clicking of the Table Games Public Input Hearings link on the home page of the Gaming Control Board’s web site,

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, funds that have reinvigorated Pennsylvania’s horse racing industry, and new revenue to local governments that has funded scores of community projects. A wealth of information about the Gaming Control Board and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at 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, an interactive map of casino locations, and a link to request a speaker are among the many items available.

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