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Pennsylvania Ag News Headlines
Commission Approves Procedure for Harness Racing Track License
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 02/02/2017

The State Horse Racing Commission today voted to begin accepting applications for Pennsylvania's sole remaining Standardbred pari-mutuel racetrack license. Applicants will have 120 days, beginning Feb. 15 and closing on June 14, to file an application with the Commission.

Following the application period, the Commission will review submissions to ensure each is complete. Only applications determined to be timely and complete shall move through the review/hearing process. The Commission may reject any incomplete application it deems deficient.

Those that are deemed to have been submitted in a timely fashion and are administratively compete will move on for further consideration, which will include a more thorough evaluation by the Commission and possibly hearings that will allow for public comment. Following this process, the Commission will issue an order and adjudication if it determines that granting a license is in the best interests of racing.

Applications may be submitted to the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission, c/o Stephanie Pavlik, Department of Agriculture, Room 301, 2301 N. Cameron St., Harrisburg, PA 17110.

The harness track license became available in December following the state Supreme Court's decision to deny an appeal of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board's decision in July not to grant Endeka Entertainment, LP a Category 1 gaming license to operate a casino in Lawrence County. Endeka subsequently abandoned the project.

The court's decision not to hear the appeal effectively terminated Endeka's right to the license, making it available to other applicants through a process developed and approved by the state Horse Racing Commission.

Pennsylvania is home to six racetracks. Thoroughbreds compete at tracks located at Parx Casino in Bensalem, Hollywood Casino in Grantville, and Presque Isle Downs and Casino in Erie. There are three Standardbred race tracks, including Harrah's Philadelphia in Chester, the Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington, and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre.

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