Starting on top
by Andy Holtmann
Starting on top
Mount Airy Casino Resort, Pennsylvania’s first non-racetrack slot facility, opens
The Mount Airy Casino Resort became Pennsylvania’s first free-standing casino/slot parlor when it opened to the public in October after two test runs with invited guests.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board gave its approval of the Poconos-based resort after regulators observed approximately 2,000 people wager more than $706,000 on the property’s 2,523 slot machines. No problems or issues were reported during the tests.
In addition to the slots, the Mount Airy Casino Resort also has four restaurants and entertainment areas. A 188-room hotel, nightclub and a spa facility are expected to open by the end of the year. An additional 212 hotel rooms, a pool area, retail shops, a conference facility and more slot machines are all in the works for development at later dates—the soonest being by the end of 2008.
Mount Airy is owned by Louis DeNaples, a Scranton-area businessman who chairs his own bank. His other business interests include waste disposal and auto parts. He has also been the subject of controversy for alleged former ties to organized crime. A Dauphin County grand jury has been investigating whether DeNaples misled state gaming regulators regarding his past. The gaming board could revoke the license should it find that DeNaples did mislead regulators.
But regulators have signed off on DeNaple’s creation of a three-person independent panel, which will oversee the casino property’s finances and daily operations.
The resort is one of five free-standing casino/slot parlors approved throughout the state. Five other casino facilities have already opened in Pennsylvania, but are all attached to horse racing tracks.