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Penn National wants to declare new state gambling law unconstitutional

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Staff member
Jan 14, 2008
The York Dispatch reported that Penn National has asked the federal court in Harrisburg to declare Pennsylvania’s new gaming expansion law as unconstitutional,
claiming that it violates the company’s constitutional rights to equal protection and due process.

Penn National’s lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, a day before the state regulator auctions the first of 10 mini-casino licenses in the state, according to The Sacramento Bee report.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced that the starting bid for the coveted casino licenses is at $7.5 million.
The license allows winning bidders to operate 750 slot machines and they can also purchase another $2.5 million separate certificate to operate at least 30 table games.

But before the state regulators started unsealing the bids, Penn National has already sought the intervention of the local court to prevent the “significant and unique”
harm that the mini-casinos will inflict to its suburban Harrisburg casino, Hollywood Casino.

Under Pennsylvania’s 2-month-old gambling law, existing Pennsylvania casinos are given a 25-mile protection zone in order to prevent casino cannibalization in the state.
Mini-casinos, on the other hand, have protected buffer zones of 15 miles.

Penn National, however, isn’t convinced that the buffer set by the law will work since the divisions set by the state tends to overlap.
The casino operator has estimated that its casino stands to lose $34 million annually if the mini-casinos open.