CASINO

Philly bides time; Massachusetts enjoying the wait; Indiana needs to be competitive

TAGs: Indiana, Massachusetts, Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, PGCB, Philadelphia

USA flag 1Philadelphia is a year away from knowing which firm will build the city’s second casino. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has stated that it intends to pore over each of the six applications “separately” with R. Douglas Sherman, the PGCB chief counsel, adding: “It’s not going to be a short process and it’s going to take as long as it takes.” He added that the Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement will conduct extensive background investigations, assess the project’s financing, the effects of its location, its design and other factors. All six applications are slightly different with Wynn Resorts and Penn National Gaming among the companies wanting to capture the licence that was originally awarded to a Foxwoods-led group back in 2006. That bid collapsed under public opposition and resulted in the reopening of the bidding process.

Massachusetts Gaming Commission chairman Stephen P. Crosby thinks they have “accomplished a lot” in the year since the state’s casino law was first signed. MassLive.com carries an interview with Crosby in which he also states: “I don’t think we could have gone more quickly. I’m proud of what we have done.” The five-person commission don’t envisage awarding their first licence until at least February 2014 and it will take up to three years after this for a resort to be fully constructed. Crosby isn’t worried though, and added: “It’s the right schedule. We’ve been moving quite quickly, given how complex this all is. We’re going to do it right and take the time to do it right.”

Indiana should try to make its casinos more competitive according to a top legislative leader in the state. Indiana Senate President David Long (R-Fort Wayne) told the Times of Munster that the legislature should do what it can to stop casino tax revenues declining. Indiana relies on much of its income from other states with ten of the state’s 13 venues located in counties adjacent to other states. He states that the number of casinos in Indiana doesn’t need to increase; they just need be “more competitive”.

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