ALLENTOWN - With Pennsylvania's casino industry preparing for the arrival of table games, regulators said Tuesday they're on track for a July launch and one parlor said it has had dozens of blackjack, craps and roulette tables delivered.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has licensed eight slot-machine casinos to offer table games, and regulators are expected to give the go-ahead Tuesday to two more casinos, SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia and Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh.
Nine of the 10 should be ready to debut their games in July, or perhaps a little later, according to board spokesman Doug Harbach. The 10, Sugarhouse, is scheduled to open in September.
"They're all aiming within a matter of weeks to be open," he said.
Meanwhile, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs said Tuesday it is the first casino to take delivery of its tables.
Bobby Soper, president and chief executive officer of the casino outside Wilkes-Barre, said an initial shipment of 30 games arrived last week from Las Vegas-based manufacturer Gaming Partners International Corp. The casino plans to open with 61.
"It's a hallmark. We have a whole new gaming product being introduced and we're the first property to get those tables in the state," said Soper, whose casino was the first to open after Pennsylvania legalized gambling in 2004.
He said he expects table games to boost attendance 15 percent.
"Now you're going to have individuals who will stay closer to home because you offer both products, and you can recapture those dollars that are leaving every day to places like Atlantic City," N.J., Soper said.
Pennsylvania lawmakers paved the way for table games at existing casinos in January as part of a deal with Gov. Rendell to settle last year's protracted budget stalemate and raise additional revenue.
Table games will be taxed at 16 percent of gross revenue, with 2 percentage points going to local counties and municipalities. At the end of the second year, the gross tax rate will drop to 14 percent.