Pennsylvania set
for slots arrival

Oct 17, 2006 5:20 AM

The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority and Downs Racing announced a grand opening date of November 14 for their casino at Pocono Downs. The first racetrack in Pennsylvania to open a casino, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs will boast 1,083 slot machines as part of the first phase of the casino project, a news release from the Authority stated.

In a statement, project CEO Robert Soper said, "This is the culmination of a pledge to this region by the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority and our dedicated management team and staff ”¦ there is overwhelming positive anticipation from the Northeast Pennsylvania region regarding our opening."

The casino will host a variety of slot machines, including 500 reel games, 450 video machines and video poker. Denominations will range from 1/2-cent machines to $100 slots.

The Authority has already invested nearly $70 million in the construction of the first phase of the project, making improvements to the facility and adding 40,000 square feet to accommodate two gaming floors, a food court, bar and patio.

The opening date is pending the approval of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Opposition continues
in Buffalo

It seems everyone is jumping on the bandwagon to stop the construction of the Seneca’s casino in downtown Buffalo. The latest is Rochester, New York billionaire Thomas Golisano, who has said he will spend more than a million dollars on an anti-casino marketing blitz, according to an Associated Press report.

Golisano accused casino proponents of creating a "monopoly of vice between government and gambling." Golisano owns the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, and has said the team won’t renew its contracts with the New York State Lottery for advertising during games in HSBC Arena.

Construction blowin’

in the Wind River

It looks like the Northern Arapaho of Colorado will finally see completion of their new Wind River Casino just outside of Riverton, nearly two years after the initial ground breaking ceremony. The casino was originally slated for opening in the fall of 2004, but the tribe was unable to secure the financing they needed to complete the project.

Casino CEO Jim Conrad announced that the tribe has secured more than $22 million from an outside source, the Star-Tribune reported. Conrad said the project has been expanded since it’s original inception””the casino will now have 44,000 square feet and offer high-stakes gambling. An additional 114 acres will be available for future development.

The new facility is expected to open in October 2007.

Cleveland eyes slots

Two major organizations of business leaders in Cleveland support Issue 3, a ballot initiative allowing slot machines in Ohio. The Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland and the Downtown Cleveland Alliance announced last week that they were in favor of an amendment to the state constitution that would permit up to 3,500 slot machines to be installed at each of the state’s seven racetracks and two gaming parlors in Cleveland, according to Business First of Columbus.

Cleveland joins Cincinnati, whose elected officials and business leaders also support the amendment. Opposition still stands in Columbus, however, where the Columbus Chamber, Experience Columbus and the Columbus Partnership, a business coalition of top executives, have spoken out against the measure. The groups are concerned that casinos in Cleveland would draw convention business away from their city.

Thirty percent of gross revenue earnings from the slot machines would go to fund college scholarships. Proponents estimate that more than $850 million a year would be generated for the state tuition grants.