Inside Asian Gaming

May 2008 | INSIDE ASIAN GAMING two hour drive from the city. However, before we write off Atlantic City- and Connecticut-based casinos, the emerging northeast gaming markets still have a number of hurdles to cross before they become casino juggernauts. Pa. problems Two years ago, the enabling legislation for Pennsylvania casinos called for the establishment of five stand-alone slot parlors, each of which is permitted to house upwards of 5,000 slot machines, two resort- based licenses for a limited amount for slot machines and the right for the state’s seven parimutuel facilities to offer slot machines as part of their gaming mix. So far, the racinos have sprinted ahead of the gaming pack, with six of them already up and operating as of February 2008. This list of open facilities includes: ≈ Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs— Owned and operated by Connecticut- basedMoheganTribal Gaming Authority, MoheganSunat PoconoDowns currently offers 1,203 slotmachines in a remodeled portion of the racetrack’s clubhouse.The two-story edifice also includes smoking and non-smoking gaming areas, bars with video poker machines and a variety of eating and entertainment options.The facility also offers live harness racing and simulcast wagering from tracks across the country. Pocono Downs has also broken ground on Project Sunrise, a US$180 million casino and entertainment complex scheduled to open this summer. The facility will include 2,000 slots, a high- limit gaming area, restaurants, lounges, bars, nightclubs, retail and additional parking spaces. ≈ Philadelphia Park Casino—Greenwood Gaming converted an existing grandstand into a 2,500 slot machine facility to the track that includes 2,500 slot machines, electronic table games, restaurants and bars. The track is seeking county approval to build a 225,000-square-foot gaming complex that would include 4,000 slot machines, restaurants, a conference center and a ballroom. ≈ Harrah’s Chester Casino & Racetrack— Located south of Philadelphia, Harrah’s Chester Casino opened January 2007 with2,700 slot and videopokermachines in a 100,000-square-foot space that includes bars, restaurants and a state- of-the-art simulcasting viewing and wagering area. Live harness racing also began at the track this past September. ≈ Presque Isle Downs—The Erie-based racino opened a gaming facility in February 2007 that includes 2,000 slot machines, four themed lounges and a varietyof diningoptions.Futureplans call for the establishment of a thoroughbred racing complex. The property is owned by MTR Gaming, which operates wagering facilities in West Virginia, Ohio, Minnesota and Nevada. ≈ The Meadows Racetrack & Casino—This Cannery Casino Resorts facility, located near Pittsburgh, opened a temporary 1,738-slot casino in June. A permanent casino is under construction in a grandstand overlooking the racetrack and, when completed in 2009, will include space for 3,000 slot machines, VIP boxes, a simulcast and wagering area, 12,500 square feet of multifunction space,dining facilities andentertainment options.Future plans call for the addition of a 200-room hotel and spa, and an outdoor swimming pool. ≈ Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course—Located in the mid-state community of Grantville, Hollywood Casino at Penn National opened earlier this year. The facility consists of a 365,000-square-foot state-of-the-art integrated racing and gaming operation and was forecast to employ a work force of approximately 1,000 persons. It features live thoroughbred racing and full-card simulcasting throughout the year. The initial phase of operations also includes a food court with four outlets, a sports bar, bar, trackside dining, and lounge and entertainment areas on the gaming level. The facility opened with 2,000 slot machines and is sized to accommodate 3,000 machines. A five- story parking garage with valet service parking is connected to the complex. In addition to these racinos,Pennsylvania unveiled its first non-racetrack gaming property with the October opening of Mount Airy Casino Resort in the Pocono Mountains. The facility houses 2,500 slots, four restaurants and an entertainment area. A 188-room hotel, nightclub and a spa facility are expected to open by the end of the year. An additional 212 hotel rooms, a pool area, retail shops, a conference facility and more slot machines are all in the works for development at later dates—the soonest being by the end of 2008. For the most part, slots at these various facilities have performed well. Combined, the gaming properties generated US$722 million in gross terminal revenue for the seven month period ending Jan. 31, 2008, according to figures released by the Pennsylvania Gambling Control Board. Market leaders include Harrah’s Chester, which brought in US$186 million in gross terminal revenue, followed closely by Philadelphia Park with US$177 million and The Meadows with US$128 million. Some facilities also boast a stellar win- per-machine average, according to a report released by Spectrum Gaming. Pennsylvania casinos actually hold four of the top five spots on the East Coast for this statistic, led by Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs which generated US$403 per slot machine per day this past fall. However, properties in more seasonal locations,such as Presque Isle Downs,have seen slot revenue decline dramatically as winter set in, and have lessened employee hours to compensate. Despite the success of these current 37 Market Outlook The Meadows Racetrack & Casino