Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
Sugarhouse general manager Wendy Hamilton says the demand for live poker play has been there since day one.
A consultant hired by the state legislature to study the future of gaming in Pennsylvania says another gambling hall will not overload the local market.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board chairman indicated that after final oral arguments in the application process, February 26th, he hoped there would be a decision about the Philadelphia casino license within 60 days.
The possibility of a casino on North Broad Street, near Callowhill, is prompting a move in Philadelphia City Council to stave off new pawn shops, payday loan operations, and other shady credit businesses in that area.
Gaming Control Board spokesman Doug Harbach says gross revenue from slots play fell almost 9-percent last month compared to January of 2013.
The hearings have been focused on financing and revenue, traffic congestion and parking, even as each applicant tried to convince the Gaming Board they had the “wow factor” that would create new gamblers, not simply cannibalize the clientele in existing casinos.
With hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from table games and slot machines potentially at stake, the five applicants will make their final pitches to state gambling regulators this week.
But despite another year-to-year increase in table games action, overall revenue at Pennsylvania’s casinos was down slightly in 2013.
John Donnelly, a lawyer representing the casino on Delaware Avenue, argued for standing on the grounds that competition has increased greatly since the state’s gambling law was passed.
For the first time since casinos opened in the state, gross revenues from slot machine play in Pennsylvania for a calendar year were down from the year before.
Presque Isle Casino, in Erie, experienced the biggest drop in gross slots revenue — more than 13 percent — followed by Harrah’s Philadelphia, down almost 10 percent.
The public can’t participate, but can watch the suitability hearings where the casino applicants go before the board and say why their project is better than the rest.
Valley Forge has a Category 3 license, which mandates that patrons must pay at least $10 out of pocket before hitting the casino floor.
“We don’t want any special consideration, but we do want to be fairly covered,” Crawley said today.