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Lawsuits All Around: The Gaming Board Can Issue Casino Licenses, But Can They Re-Issue Them?

A group of investors of the Sugarhouse casino got in a litigious mood and decided to sue the Pennsylvania Gaming Board for re-issuing the second casino license. Their reasoning comes from a very narrow interpretation of Pennsylvania law, and probably from a desire to crush even the possibility of competition.

The Pennsylvania law in question, which was written in 2004, defines the Pennsylvania Gaming Board's powers. According to the law, they can "issue, approve, renew, revoke, suspend, condition or deny issuance or renewal..."

The attorney for the group of Sugarhouse investors points out that the law doesn't specifically say that the Gaming Board may re-issue a previously issued casino license. The second casino license is technically a re-issue of the license that was revoked from the Foxwoods team in 2010.

One might argue that this second casino license is not in fact a re-issue, but a newly issued casino license, but that's up for the lawyers to hash out. Is this lawsuit an absurd attempt to stall competition for Sugarhouse? Yes. Does that mean that it will be unsuccessful? Not necessarily.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Board says that they hope to stay on schedule and make a decision about the second casino license in 2014.

If you'd like a refresher on the six casino proposals, check out this mapped guide and cheat sheet to the casino applicants. Or you could just turn to the cartoon version.
· Sore Winners [Philly.com]
· All Six Philadelphia Casino Proposals Mapped [Curbed Philly]