Friday, January 8, 2010

Gaming Board Moves Forward on Poker, Blackjack

Now that a bill legalizing table games has been signed into law, the Gaming Control Board is working to have craps, blackjack and poker tables up and running within six to nine months.
Gaming Control Board Chairman Gregory Fajt says the agency will conduct a thorough investigation of every casino applying for a table games license.
He says a major focus will be whether the facilities can expand their security systems to account for increased demands.

"This is a completely different animal than the slots play. Slot machines in Pennsylvania are hooked up to a central computer system and we know immediately how much money goes through that individual slot machine as it’s being played. We will not know that for table games. It’s much more cash-oriented."

Fajt says his top concern is “maintaining the integrity of gaming in Pennsylvania,” so he won’t bow to any pressure to speed up the application process.
"So to the extent that there is a push from anybody to get these things up and running before we’ve had a chance to properly vet them and do the appropriate background checks just is not going to happen."

However, Governor Rendell has said he wants the approval process put on the fast track. The state is counting on at least 250 million dollars being generated by the effort by July 1.
As part of the review process, the Board will conduct public hearings in the municipalities that host the casinos.
Fajt says he expects table games to create six thousand new jobs, and that the board will conduct background checks on each of those employees.

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