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Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association Displeased With Slot Machine Plans

On May 26, 2007, the peace that existed between the officials of the Philadelphia Park and their horsemen after the entry of the slot machines has broken after the racing track requested to have the temporary casino establishment in the Bensalem Racing Track recognized as a permanent facility.

The request was made by the Philadelphia Park Casino and Racetrack, which is operated by Greenwood Gaming on April 5, 2007. The approval of the request by the Gaming Control Board of Pennsylvania is still pending.

Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, Mike Balezzi, claims that they have breached their agreement with the association.

Greenwood commented that they are currently planning to construct a casino and resort at the southeast portion of the present location of the Philadelphia Parking Lot worth $300 million. Balezzi said that they have no problem with the present slots establishment but they are getting crowded.

He further stated that the live games lose a total of 30% in their earnings and they want the Grandstand to be reverted for their use. Balezzi added that the $12 million renovations which were to begin this September have yet to start.

Hal Handel, CEO of the Philadelphia Park, claims that the situation is complicated. He explained that they need to apply for the license and look for a suitable market, as well as a solution to their problem right now.

Part of the petition that the Philadelphia Racing Park passed to the Gaming Board is that they are planning to add 340 to 370 slot machines to their current 2,000 slot machines at the temporary facility.

Handel said that their current slot machines earn $370 daily more than the slot machines in Atlantic City and improvements like the renovations of the barn and dorm would begin next week.

Agriculture Secretary of Pennsylvania, Dennis Wolff, and the representatives from the Gaming Board will visit the racing track on June 19, 2007.


Tuesday, 12 June 2007
Darren G. Strachan