Casino vote delayed until Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board membership change

January 04, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A decision about Pennsylvania's remaining Category 3 resort casino license has been delayed until after next week's change in membership on the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Among the four applicants for the remaining license is Mason-Dixon Resorts LP, which has planned for a $75 million resort and casino that would be operated by Penn National Gaming. The project would be developed in the existing Eisenhower Hotel & Conference Center near Gettysburg, Pa.

Gregory C. Fajt, chairman of the gaming board, said previously a decision could be made by the end of 2010.

However, gaming board spokesman Doug Harbach said Tuesday the license vote has not been scheduled.

The gaming board is composed of four people appointed by the Pennsylvania General Assembly and three people appointed by the governor. Two of the members — Jeffrey Coy and Kenneth McCabe — have reached their term limits.

Coy is a former Franklin County, Pa., legislator.

Two other members, Raymond Angeli and Gary Sojka, reached the end of their two-year terms. Harbach said the legislature could choose to reappoint those members.

The gaming board needs a "qualified majority" to award the license, Harbach said. A qualified majority means all four legislative appointees and at least one of the three gubernatorial appointees must agree on which project should get the license, he said.

The Category 3 license will allow the recipient to operate as many as 600 slot machines and 50 table games. In addition to Mason-Dixon Resorts & Casino, applications were submitted for sites in Cumberland, Monroe and Fayette counties.

"The board certainly has been attempting to reach a decision on this and thought it might be prepared to do so at the Jan. 6 meeting," Harbach said.

Harbach said new members to the gaming board would need to go through the "rather voluminous evidence that has been compiled for this." Nearly 400 people registered to speak at the Gettysburg hearing in late summer 2010.

Harbach said he doesn't know when the vote will be taken, but the board isn't facing a deadline.

"Obviously the board is not in total agreement on which project is the best among the applicants," he said.

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