No Takers for the Two Category III Slots Licenses
On March 28, 2007, before the second wave of slots license applications for Category 3 gaming machines permit even started, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board held a meeting to clarify the laws that are needed for Category 3 Gaming. This usually applies to resort hotels and restricts the number of the slots to just 500 gaming machines, which are allotted for the entertainment of guests at the resort hotels.
The 2 companies that have previously shown interests in the Category 3 licenses, the Nemacolin Woodland Resort and the Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Champion, have already withdrawn their applications. The reason given by Nemacolin for their withdrawal was that it is a business decision mainly based on their misinterpretation of the laws, such as the rule which requires customers to buy $25 worth of non-gaming merchandise before being permitted to use the slot machines.
On the other hand, the owner of the Seven Springs Resort is a shareholder in the Pittsburgh Pirates and according to the rules of Major League Baseball they are forbidden from operating gambling establishments.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Chairman, Tad Decker, simply said they had 2 slots applicants pull out of their respective bids for different reasons and they want to make sure that this will not happen again.
The main goal of the hearing is that they want to review the legislative purpose for the Class III license and will also allow the Pennsylvania Gaming Board to consider some changes so that possession of this type of license will be more useful for the owner.
The representatives from the Split Rock Resort, which is a company of the Vacation Charters Ltd, the Fernwood Hotel and Resort from Bushkill, which is under the Resorts USA Inc and the Aurora Gaming based in Las Vegas, have given testimonies set by the PGCB.
Doug Harbach, Spokesman for the Pennsylvania Gaming Board, said that the 3 companies are potential applicants and there are others who have already expressed interest in the licenses.
Other issues were also discussed at the meeting, like a broader and clearer definition regarding the customer's status as a patron of the hotel's resources and amenities. This will allow them to use the slot machines.
Harbach added that there has been no date set yet regarding the slot machines application process. He said that they will announce a date and the time frame for the slots applications next month.