Public hearing set for Valley Forge Casino Resort license renewal

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is looking for public comment as it considers the renewal of the slot machine operator license of Valley Forge Casino Resort in Upper Merion.

The board has scheduled a public hearing for Wednesday, April 27, at the Upper Merion Township Building, 175 West Valley Forge Road. The hearing begins at 10:30 a.m.

The April 27 hearing is open to the public — and citizens, public officials and community groups can choose to speak or submit written testimony. The hearing will also be live-streamed on the Gaming Control Board’s website.

Valley Forge Casino Resort is a Category 3 licensee — which includes resort casinos — and is operated by Valley Forge Convention Center Partner LLC. The license renewal process for Category 3 licensees in Pennsylvania takes place every five years.

Those wishing to provide either in-person or written testimony at the April 27 hearing should visit the Gaming Control Board’s website and select the link on the homepage for more information and registration.

Registration for providing comments is required in advance. The deadline for registration to speak or to submit written testimony is 12 p.m. on Sunday, April 24.

Written comments can be submitted directly through the board’s website, but may also be mailed, emailed, or sent via fax. Written comments can be emailed to [email protected]; sent via fax to 717-265-7416; or mailed to PA Gaming Control Board, 303 Walnut Street/5th Fl. Commonwealth Tower, Harrisburg, PA 17101, Attention: Board Clerk

The public hearing is the first of a two-step process for renewing the license, held before the director of the Gaming Control Board’s office of hearings and appeals. During the hearing, the board will receive documentary evidence, hear testimony and build a record that will be used as part of the licensing decision. That information, along with a report from the director of hearings and appeals, will be transmitted to the board.

A listing of all government officials, community groups and individuals who have registered to speak at this hearing will be posted on the board’s website beginning one week prior to the hearing and updated daily.

All gaming licenses in Pennsylvania are subject to periodic review, pursuant to Section 1326 of the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act, according to a release announcing the public hearing. The renewal application must include an update of the information since the casino’s last renewal.

The second step in the licensing process will be a separate public hearing in Harrisburg at a later date, where representatives of the casino licensee will offer evidence and oral arguments. At that time, the board members can ask additional questions.

According to the board, the burden is on the renewal applicant to establish and demonstrate “its eligibility and suitability for renewal of a gaming license.”

“During the hearing, the renewal applicant will be given the opportunity to demonstrate, among other things, its good character, honesty, and integrity; compliance with its statement of conditions; as well as provide evidence on tax revenue generated; jobs created; success in implementing its diversity plan; and involvement in the surrounding communities,” the release stated.

Following the second proceeding, the board will determine whether the licensee remains “eligible and suitable consistent with the laws of the Commonwealth,” and are otherwise qualified to have the license renewed for a five-year period.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board oversees all aspects of gambling involving 16 land-based casinos, online casino games, retail and online sports wagering, and Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs) at qualified truck stops, along with the regulation of online fantasy sports contests.

Pennsylvania’s land-based casino industry includes six racetrack (Category 1) casinos, five stand-alone (Category 2) casinos, two resort (Category 3) casinos and three mini-casinos (Category 4).

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