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Casino licenses issued in PA

December 20, 2006

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Five new free-standing casino licenses were awarded by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Wednesday, and the locations are in downtown Pittsburgh, two in Philadelphia, and one each in Bethelehem and the Pocono Mountains.

The Pittsburgh license went to PITG, which is headed by Detroit developer and casino operator Don Barden. Isle of Capri, the owner of Pompano Park, had applied for a license and planned to use part of the proceeds to finance a new arena for the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team. Barden has pledged $7.5 million per year for 30 years from casino revenues toward the cost of a new arena.

Barden added that his casino will open in March 2008.

HSP Gaming and Philadelphia Entertainment received the two licenses for Philadelphia, which both said will be riverfront developments. Las Vegas Sands was awarded the license for Bethlehem while Louis DeNaples got the nod for the Pocono Mountains site. The board chose the Bethlehem and Pocono Mountains applications submitted by Las Vegas Sands and DeNaples over a controversial proposal to put a casino near the historic Gettysburg National Battlefield.
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