December 20th, 2006


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


Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey (717) 346-8321

PA Gaming Control Board Approves 11 Permanent Operator Licenses

HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today unanimously approved 11 applications for permanent slot-machine gaming operator licenses, including five for the first stand alone casinos awarded under the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act of 2004.

"Creating a new industry is a complex and arduous journey, but I can now stand with my fellow Board members and announce to the citizens of Pennsylvania that they are a step closer to significant property tax relief, additional jobs, and a reinvigorated horse-racing industry," said Tad Decker, Chairman of the Gaming Control Board.

Pursuant to Act 71, five Category 2 licenses are authorized for stand alone slots facilities which may operate a maximum of 5,000 slot machines. The Act further prescribed that two licenses in this category must be located within Philadelphia, one in Pittsburgh and two in tourism-enhanced locations across the state. Awarded licenses today were:

  • HSP Gaming, LP. HSP's SugarHouse Casino will be located along the Delaware River near the Girard Avenue exit of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia. It will have 3,000 slot machines and is expected to open in April 2008.
  • Philadelphia Entertainment & Development Partners, LP. Philadelphia Entertainment's Foxwoods Casino Philadelphia will be located in South Philadelphia along the Delaware River. It will be operated by Foxwoods Development and include 3,000 slot machines. It is expected to open in November 2008.
  • PITG Gaming, LLC. The PITG Gaming Casino will be operated in Pittsburgh by owner Majestic Star. It will be located on the North Shore west of Heinz Field and the Carnegie Science Center. It will have 5,000 slot machines. It is expected to open in March 2008.
  • Mount Airy #1, LLC (Monroe County). Based at the Mount Airy resort in Paradise Township in the Poconos, the Mount Airy Casino will have 5,000 slot machines and is expected to open in November 2007.
  • Sands Bethworks Gaming, LLC (Bethlehem, Northampton/Lehigh Counties). The Sands Bethworks Casino will be located at the former Bethlehem Steel Co. plant in the City of Bethlehem. It will have 5,000 slot machines and is expected to open in July 2008.

In addition, the Board approved permanent licenses for six Category 1 applicants which may operate a maximum of 5,000 slot machines at existing horse racing facilities. Earlier this year, conditional licenses were granted to these six facilities. All were awarded permanent status today:

  • Chester Downs and Marina, LLC (Chester Downs, Delaware County). This facility, in Chester, Pa., is expected to open in January 2007. It will eventually operate 3,000 slot machines.
  • Downs Racing, LP (Pocono Downs, Luzerne County). The casino at Pocono Downs near Wilkes-Barre was the first to begin operations in Pennsylvania, opening on November 14, 2006, with 1,080 slot machines. It will eventually operate 2,000 machines.
  • Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment Inc. (Philadelphia Park, Bucks County). Philadelphia Park's racino opened December 19, 2006). It has 1,996 slot machines, and will eventually operate 3,000 machines.
  • Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association (Penn National, Dauphin County). Penn National Gaming's racino near Harrisburg is expected to open on January 1, 2008, with 3,000 slot machines.
  • Presque Isle Downs, Inc. (Erie County) The racino at Presque Isle Downs outside of Erie is expected to open with 1,600 slot machines in operation on February 15, 2007. It will eventually operate 2,000 machines.
  • Washington Trotting Association, Inc. (The Meadows, Washington County) The racino at The Meadows is expected to open on May 15, 2007, with 1,738 machines in operation. It will eventually operate 3,000 machines

"I would like to thank my fellow Board members - Ray Angeli, Mary Colins, Jeff Coy, Ken McCabe, Chip Marshall and Sanford Rivers - for their hard work and dedication to this project during the past two years. The citizens of Pennsylvania can be assured that we have chosen economically viable, reputable operators who will run safe, enjoyable and profitable gaming facilities," Chairman Decker said.

Decker credited the Gaming Control Board staff for its consistent, high-quality work to investigate and qualify applicants, and its attention to setting up an infrastructure that ensures through the regulatory process that these facilities remain safe and viable in the future.

Pursuant to the Act, the Board has jurisdiction over every aspect of the authorization, operation and regulation of gaming in the Commonwealth.

* Information on number of slot machines and estimated opening dates provided by applicants.