Casino Companies Aim for Pennsylvania License - Saturday 12th of March 2005

As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer: "Casino mogul Steve Wynn will unveil his $2.7 billion Wynn Las Vegas, the most expensive casino hotel ever built on the Las Vegas Strip, next month.

"But even the opening of Vegas' newest playground has not stopped him from checking out the action going on in Pennsylvania -- the biggest state to legalize gambling since California. He recently dispatched one of his executives to Philadelphia to scout for slots-parlor sites.

"???So does nearly every other big casino boss, horse-track honcho, and riverboat baron in the United States.

"At least three dozen enterprises have expressed interest in landing one of the 14 gambling licenses to be awarded by the Gaming Control Board. As the board begins drafting regulations and licensing procedures, the companies are positioning themselves to be among the chosen.

"???The most ambitious project, called BethWorks Now, is planned for the Lehigh Valley. Manhattan real estate developer Newmark & Co. and Las Vegas Sands Corp. have allied to convert the former Bethlehem Steel plant site into an $800 million retail and entertainment complex with a slots parlor, hotel, and a renovated museum on 124 acres.

"???Pennsylvania has the potential to host up to 61,000 slot machines in 14 venues, which would be second only to Nevada, which has 202,801 machines. Atlantic City has 42,215 slot machines at its 12 casinos???"

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