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Ex-Pittsburgh Councilman Sala Udin Testifies on Slots Licensing Problems

On April 3, 2007, Ex-Pittsburgh City Councilman, Sala Udin, announced to state legislators that the official slot machines license supplier does not have any power because the legislation change of the law in the middle of the slots game.

Sala Udin, Head of Gaming Ventures LLC, commented that the state should pay back the $25,000 to his company and thousands of dollars to the other suppliers because the state legislature removed the main requirement that the casinos should buy their own machines from licensed suppliers.

The expenses that the company incurred included state fees, as well as legal and start-up expenses. Udin said that they have followed all the rules. But last year, the gambling reform law passed by the legislation reduced the value of their supplier's license.

The slots law of 2004 will require the casinos to acquire their machines through the supplier and not from the manufacturers. Groups in favor of the law said that it will help create jobs in Pennsylvania.

However, with the change in the laws last year, the legislature decided to remove the middle man, saying that many them were politically connected and that the added cost was unnecessary. The slot suppliers said that they have a license to provide the casinos which they can acquire without their help.

Don DeCarbo, President of Parkside Gaming Inc. in New Castle, asked why a manufacturer would utilize a supplier when they can discuss business directly with the casinos?

According to Susan Hensel, Director of Licensing for the Gaming Control Board, there are about 16 companies who have a supplier license. The legislators seemed supportive of paying the companies back the $25,000 licensing cost, but will not do so until they talk to the 10 other businesses with supplier licenses.

Sala Udin commented that he knows about 5 companies that have spent about $800,000. He said that these expenses will continue to grow as most of the suppliers come out. Udin stated that they are thinking of any legal possibilities that they can use.

Rep. Will Gabig, a Republican from Carlisle, commented that the companies should shoulder some of the cost, like the lawyers' fees. He said that there is no guarantee in these matters so the companies should not expect much.


Thursday, 19 April 2007
Kori Woffendin