Penn National sues over Pennsylvania's casino expansion

Penn National sues over Pennsylvania's casino expansion

January 10, 2018 9:20 AM


Pennsylvania’s new gambling laws are now facing legal challenges from Penn National Gaming and Las Vegas Sands.

The Pennsylvania-based casino operator filed paperwork Tuesday challenging a central element of the state’s aggressive new law expanding casino gambling, part of the state’s effort to fill a massive budget deficit.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court, is contesting provisions in the new regulations allowing 10 more mini-casinos. Penn National claims such mini-casinos would cause “significant and unique” harm to its suburban Harrisburg casino, Hollywood Casino.

Penn National believes that the law, passed in October, effectively allows competing casino owners to use the new mini-casinos to poach its relatively wide-ranging geographical customer base.

The 57-page lawsuit says, “There was no rational basis for this arbitrary and inequitable treatment of (Penn National), which violated (its) constitutional rights in multiple ways,”

Two other lawsuits filed in recent days, one by Las Vegas Sands and another by Penn National, target other aspects of the gambling law.

Las Vegas Sands, on Dec. 28, filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court alleging the law violates the state and federal constitutions by requiring high-performing casinos such as Sands to pay a special tax to subsidize financially struggling casinos.