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PA licenses set for Sept. 27

July 21, 2006

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Pennsylvania state regulators have set Thursday, Sept. 27, as a near certain date for six state racetracks to be awarded licenses to open slots parlors, according to a story today in the Uniontown Herald-Standard.
Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Chairman Tad Decker said at a bimonthly board meeting that with the dispute over slots suppliers resolved in late June, the board is now on track to award its first set of licenses to racetracks.
\"I can\'t look into the crystal ball as much as I\'d like to,\" said Decker. \"But, no, I don\'t see anything obvious that\'s going to delay us right now,\" he told the Herald-Standard.

The Meadows is expected to open a temporary, 1,800-plus slot machine parlor to the public in the first quarter of 2007, said Tom Willer, the marketing vice president for the racetrack\'s parent company, Cannery Casino Resorts.

It appears that Thoroughbred racing’s Philadelphia Park in will be among the earlier racetracks to open its slots parlor to the public. Frank McDonnell, general counsel for Greenwood Gaming, a corporate subsidiary of the company that owns Philadelphia Park, estimated the racetrack\'s initial 2,000-slot machine facility would open in mid December.

A seventh racetrack slots license is still up in the air because the location of the racetrack has not been determined. The Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission recently turned down two applicants in Beaver and Lawrence counties for a sole remaining racetrack license, which would have led to the award of a slots license.

Decker also addressed an issue bubbling between Gov. Ed Rendell\'s administration and Republican lawmakers over a $10.4 million transfer into the gaming board to keep it afloat since in the inflow of gambling cash has not yet begun. Republicans are saying the cash transfer needs legislative approval.

Decker said the agency, which has been busy screening gaming applicants, desperately needed the money.

\"We\'d be closing next Friday,\" he said. \"We\'re going to take the money rather than go out of business.\"
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