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HARRISBURG, PA-The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has received four applications for the two available Category 3 gaming licenses. This category permits the operation of up to 500 slot machines at a resort hotel containing no fewer than 275 guest rooms and includes other restrictions.

The applicants are: Bushkill Group Inc., which does business as Fernwood Hotel & Resort and the Villas at Tree Tops and Fairway in Bushkill; Valley Forge Convention Center Partners LP, for the 488-room hotel in King of Prussia; Vacation Charters Ltd., which does business as the Resort at Split Rock in Harmony, and CE-Palace, which does business as the Palace Inn, a 278-room hotel in Monroeville, which was acquired by Pittsburgh-based Cozza Enterprises in 2006.

Gaming under a Category 3 license is provided as a patron amenity and restricts access to the gaming area. Those eligible include overnight guests; patrons of one or more of the property’s amenities, such as a golf course or skiing facility; authorized employees and people with a valid seasonal or year-round membership that provides access to other amenities.

PGCB will make the two Category 3 selections following public hearings in each applicant’s location and an investigation of individuals involved in each application. Those two steps will be followed by a licensing hearing “to determine the suitability of each applicant to hold a license,” according to a PGCB statement. The fee for a Category 3 license is $5 million. The timeline for hearings and awards has not yet been set.

The awarding of the Category 3 licenses remained open after all others were awarded in late 2006 because two initial applications dropped out. As GlobeSt.com previously reported, the “patron” restriction caused Nemacolin Woodland Resort in Farmington to withdraw its application. Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Champion withdrew because its owners also hold ownership in the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Major League Baseball prohibits team owners from also owning gambling venues.

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