A BUSINESSMAN who served in Mayor Frank Rizzo's administration and started the company that became casino and racetrack operator Penn National Gaming has died.
Peter D. Carlino died of heart disease at a hospital on Friday, Penn National spokesman Eric Schippers said. He was 92.
Carlino was the first president of the Keystone Racing Association and helped form Keystone Race Track, which became Philadelphia Park. He bought Penn National Race Course in 1982, leading to the 1994 creation of Penn National Gaming. The Wyomissing-based company is now run by his son, Peter M. Carlino, with operations across the country.
The elder Carlino also served as chairman of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority under Rizzo and served on other civic boards. He was active in Roman Catholic causes, including Gwynedd Mercy University.
Carlino also worked in the banking, mortgage and insurance industries after starting out at his brothers' florist shops. In 1971, he created the Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association, which raced at Penn National after the track opened the next year.
Granddaughter Brenna Gilbert said that so much of Carlino's life was about business.
"He had just an incredible energy and was always present at the start of new businesses and the start of new things," she told the Inquirer.
Carlino's survivors include eight children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His wife, Elizabeth Carlino, died in 1991.