The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board decided on Wednesday to renew the operator’s license of Harrah’s Chester Downs and Marina, LLC, operator of Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack in Delaware County.
The seven-member Board unanimously determined that Harrah’s Chester Downs and Marina had fulfilled the obligations under its previously approved Category 1 Racetrack Casino operator’s permit. Therefore, the body found the company “qualified to have its license renewed” for an additional five-year period.
The Board’s decision to renew the license was based on a process typically utilized by the regulator, which enables both the operator and the public to provide information relevant to the renewal decision. A public input hearing was held on June 30th, 2021, in the casino’s host municipality, the City of Chester.
At the hearing, personnel of Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack submitted exhibits and presented testimony on various aspects of the facility’s operation since its last license renewal was granted. The public was also permitted to provide testimony about the casino and its impact on the community.
Renewal applicants must demonstrate and establish, by clear and convincing evidence, their eligibility and suitability for renewal at these hearings. The licensee must prove, among other things, good character, honesty and integrity; compliance with its statement of conditions; tax revenue generated; jobs created; success in implementing its diversity plan; and involvement in the surrounding communities.
Additionally, a second public hearing was held in Harrisburg on Wednesday, which further permitted Board members to question Harrah’s Chester Downs and Marina, LLC representatives “about any remaining issues” prior to voting on the renewal.
Since its opening in January 2007, Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack has generated $4.2 billion in gross revenue from the play of slot machines, table games, sports wagering and iGaming, resulting in a return to the Commonwealth of approximately $2.37 billion in gaming taxes, according to official state data.
Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack currently operates 1,700 slot machines, 77 table games, Caesars retail and online sports wagering, Caesars online casino including the WSOP.com poker site. It currently employs nearly 700 workers.
In reaching its decision, the Board also received information from local government officials, community groups and the PA State Police, along with the Gaming Control Board’s Office of Enforcement Counsel, Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement, Office of Compulsive and Problem Gaming, and Bureau of Casino Compliance.