Dates For Category 3 Casino License Eligibility And Suitability Hearings Announced
HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today announced that public hearings to determine the eligibility and suitability of the four applicants vying for a remaining Category 3 license to operate a casino at a resort hotel will be held in Harrisburg November 16 and 17, 2010.
The four hearings will be held at the Pennsylvania State Museum located at the corner of Third and North Streets in Harrisburg. The order of appearance before the Board will be determined in early November. The hearings on November 16th will run from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm, while the November 17th hearings are scheduled for 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
The four applicants are:
- Mason-Dixon Resorts, LP, to be located at the Eisenhower Hotel, Conference Center and Resort in Cumberland Township, Adams County;
- Woodlands Fayette, LLC, to be located at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Wharton Township, Fayette County;
- Penn Harris Gaming, LP, to be located at the Holiday Inn Harrisburg West, Hampden Township, Cumberland County; and
- Bushkill Group, Inc., to be located at the Fernwood Hotel and Resort, Middle Smithfield Township, Monroe County.
The hearings will provide the Board with an opportunity to hear directly from the applicants on their eligibility for a Category 3 license, suitability to gain licensure, and why their project is better than the other applicants. In order to be eligible, the resort hotel must have no fewer than 275 guest rooms under common ownership, be more than 15 linear miles from any other Pennsylvania-licensed slot machine casino, and already offer substantial year-round recreational guest amenities on their premises.
In addition, the Act, and accompanying regulations established by the Board, restricts who can enter the gaming area of a Category 3 casino. Those permitted to utilize the gaming facility include registered overnight guests and patrons utilizing one or more of the resort-offered amenities, including individuals holding a Board-approved and valid seasonal or year-round membership to use those amenities.
At the hearing, the Board members will also question applicants about their character, operational and financial suitability, diversity plans, community impact, plans for the prevention of compulsive gaming and other issues. That information will become part of the evidentiary record as will information gathered by the PGCB’s Bureaus of Investigations and Enforcement and Licensing, along with public input gathered earlier through both public input hearings for each applicant within the municipality in which the casino would operate and written comments from the public and elected officials.
Once the evidentiary record is closed, the Board can consider an award of this second Category 3 license. The other Category 3 license was awarded to Valley Forge Resort Casino on April 8, 2009, but has yet to begin operations pending the resolution of an appeal of the Board’s licensing decision to the State Supreme Court by Greenwood Gaming, operator of the Parx Casino in Bensalem.
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 ten casinos in operation, legalized gaming in the Commonwealth has created over 13,000 new living wage jobs, revenue that has provided property tax reduction in each of the past three 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 www.pgcb.state.pa.us. At this web site, visitors can view videos of Board meetings and on the operation of the PGCB, obtain information on identifying a gambling problem and gaining assistance, look up future meeting schedules and past meeting transcripts, access an interactive map of casino locations, request a speaker for their group, along with much more information.
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