by Damon Boughamer
Public Radio Capitol News, serving Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, Penna. (PRCN, 12 April 2007) – The next several weeks promise to be busy at the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board – as the agency continues to negotiate a transition from launching to operating.
Next Friday marks the beginning of a two-month-long window during which resorts can apply for two remaining licenses for small casinos.
Up to 500 slot machines could be installed at each of the eventual licensees, according to gaming board spokesman Doug Harbach.
"We did loosen some of the regulations and make it clear who could qualify so that we could, indeed, get some competition for these – because, in the end, we’re looking to get the casinos, these smaller ones, in the best places so they can produce the most revenue for use of tax dollars to Pennsylvanians," Harbach says.
As this is going on, board staffers have also circled May 15 on the calendar.
That’s when Philadelphians are to vote on a casino location referendum that the gaming board contends would result in illegal restrictions.
That same day, arguments should begin before the state Supreme Court for casino applicants from Pittsburgh, the Poconos and Philadelphia passed over by the board in December.