PA Casino Gaming Industry

Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

9:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M.

Room 8E-B, East Wing (Main Capitol)

Subject Matter: PA Casino Gaming Industry – Gaming, Internet gaming and related issues (i.e., bingo; fantasy sports; liquor; small games of chance, including tavern gaming; etc.) some of which may be addressed in Title 4 (Amusements) legislation [i.e., SB 700 (Ward), SB 900 (Ward-Tomlinson-Vogel-Scarnati), etc.].

Purpose: The focus of this hearing will be on proposed legislation that would amend Title 4 (Amusements), Part II (Gaming), known as the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act (Gaming Act) by providing for various enhancements and reforms (e.g., gaming, Internet gaming and related issues), including the following items (among others):

  • {Investment & Reinvestment} – The addition of language that reflects Pennsylvania’s fundamental interest in the encouragement of continued investment and reinvestment in the PA gaming industry and emphasizes nothing in the Gaming Act shall be construed to preclude a PA casino from qualifying for reinvestment incentives, including tax credits established under the Tax Reform Code of 1971.
  • {License & Permit Renewal} – License and permit renewal every five (5) years (vs. the current three (3) year renewal period). Note: PA casinos would continue to be required to provide the PGCB with updated information on an ongoing basis and the PGCB continues to have the authority to review licenses and permits on an ongoing basis as warranted.
  • {Testing & Certification} – Language to clarify that the PA gaming lab (PGCB) can utilize testing and certification standards of another jurisdiction where cost savings and efficiencies can be achieved in relation to both slot machines and table games.
  • {PA State Police} – Provisions specifying the PA State Police have jurisdiction over criminal matters beyond just the gaming floor of a PA casinos (e.g., licensed facility, licensed race track and surrounding areas, including parking areas.
  • {Category 3 (Resort)} – The waiver of the Category 3 slot machine license (Resort Casinos) membership fee that patrons are currently required to purchase at PA resort casinos, subsequent to the further investment via the payment of a one-time fee by the Category 3 licensee.
  • {Casino Liquor License} – A casino liquor license would be available to all PA casinos upon the payment of certain fees, which would allow these 24/7 businesses to convert their existing restaurant liquor license so that alcohol may be offered during those same hours of operation as such is more consistent with their business model. Casino liquor licenses would be subject to being revoked or suspended upon three or more violations involving minors.
  • {Nonprimary and Ancillary Locations} – Category 1 (Racinos) and Category 2 (Standalone Casinos) slot machine licenses would be authorized to offer a limited number of slot machines (not to exceed the number of slot machines currently authorized) at nonprimary and ancillary locations respectively upon the remittance of a fee for each additional location. The location of the nonprimary and ancillary locations are meant to supplement the existing casinos business model and would be subject to various mileage limitations similar to those currently imposed on PA casinos.
  • {Race Days} – Reduce the number of days on which Category 1 slot machine licensees are required to hold live races in order to strengthen the PA horse-racing industry by improving the quality of its races.
  • {Internet Gaming} – Existing PA casinos that offer slot machine and table games would be eligible to offer Internet gaming to individual patrons that have registered and established an Internet gaming account and are physically present in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania while playing online. In addition, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs would be required to develop expanded compulsive and problem gambling programs specifically related to Internet gaming.

These enhancements and reforms are reflective of the challenges faced both in establishing and maintaining the viability of the PA gaming industry in an increasingly competitive environment, while ensuring the industry is strictly and efficiently regulated. It is imperative that we avoid the status quo and ensure PA casinos have the tools necessary to continue to thrive and guarantee the job security of the many men and women employed by the PA gaming industry. This proposed legislation is meant to ensure a healthy and vibrant business atmosphere for Pennsylvania’s gaming industry, while maximizing gaming revenue and the positive economic impact of gaming in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

SB700 – Bill Summary

SB900 – Bill Summary


[9:00 A.M.] – Introductory Remarks – Senator Ward, Chair and Senator Wiley, Democratic Chair

[9:05 A.M.] – {Panel} Consisting of Representatives of the Twelve (12) Operating PA Casinos: [Note: A representative(s) of eleven (11) of the twelve (12) operating PA casinos is present either to offer testimony and/or answer related questions as indicated below.]

Proposed Gaming Legislation Letter

  • [9:05 A.M.] Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem (Cat. 2)AttachmentMark Juliano, President, Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem (Las Vegas Sands Corp.) | Biography
  • [9:10 A.M.] Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course (Cat. 1) Attachment 1Attachment 2Attachment 3D. Eric Schippers, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs & Government Relations, Penn National Gaming, Inc. | Biography
    • {Q/A} – Chris Sheffield, Senior Vice President Managing Director I-Gaming, Penn National Gaming, Inc. | Biography
    • {Q/A} – Bill Hayles, Vice President and General Manager, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course | Biography
  • [9:15 A.M.] Parx Casino and Racing (Cat. 1) – Robert [Bob] W. Green, Chairman and President, Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, Inc. | Biography
  • [9:20 A.M.] Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack (Cat. 1)TestimonyMichael Cohen, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Caesars Interactive Inc.
    • {Q/A} – Marco Ceccarelli, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Caesars Interactive Inc.
    • {Q/A} – Melissa Richards, Director of Human Resources and Community Relations, Harrah’s Philadelphia
  • [9:25 A.M.] The Meadows Racetrack & Casino (Cat. 1)Attachment 1Attachment 2Sean Sullivan, Vice President and General Manager | Biography
  • [9:30 A.M.] Rivers Casino (Cat. 2) and SugarHouse Casino (Cat. 2) | Attachment:
    • Wendy Hamilton, General Manager, SugarHouse Casino | Biography
    • Richard Schwartz, President, Rush Street Interactive (Rivers Casino and SugarHouse Casino)
  • [9:40 A.M.] Valley Forge Casino Resort (Cat. 3) | AttachmentRobert [Bob] M. Pickus, Esq., Managing Director of GCA, Holdings, LLC and the CEO of its subsidiary, GCA Leisure, LLC and Chairman of the Board of Managers for Valley Forge Casino Resort | Biography
  • {Q/A} – Presque Isle Downs & Casino (Cat. 1)Attachment – Kevin O’Sullivan, Director of Gaming Operations, Presque Isle Downs & Casino | Biography
  • {Q/A} – Mount Airy Casino Resort (Cat. 2) – John Culetsu, General Manager, Mount Airy Casino Resort
  • {Q/A} – Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin (Cat. 3) – Don Mitchell, CAO, Isle of Capri Casino, Inc. | Biography
  • {Written Testimony} – Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs (Cat. 1)AttachmentMichael Bean, President Mohegan Sun Pocono
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