Even though the slots casino at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort has not yet opened, management there is already asking the Gaming Control Board to expand its license to include table games. A hearing on the application will be held February 7th.
By law, a casino operator in Pennsylvania must first be awarded a slots casino license before it can apply for a license to operate table games. “We are following that rank and order as we speak,” said Nemacolin Manager Chris Plummer.
Plummer said the plan all along was to open the casino with the table games already in place.
“We’re targeting a summer 2013 opening,” said Plummer. “The whole facility will open at the same time.”
Nemacolin’s Category 3 license allows it to run as many as 600 slots machines. If approved, the table games license would cover as many as 50 tables. Plummer said that number could be closer to 28.
The hearing begins at 10:00 am at the Wharton Township Municipal Building in Farmington, PA. The board must approve or deny the request within 60 days of the receipt of a complete petition.
It is unclear how the new casino will impact the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh and the Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington, PA, but the operators of those facilities did fight Nemacolin’s original slots application. A Category 3 resort casino cannot be within 15 linear miles of another casino.
Plummer said the resort drew visitors from 42 states last year. “Our main target is about a five hour window. We are a drive-to destination.”
Among the stipulations included in a Category 3 licenses is that the casino users must also be patrons or members of the resort. Nemacolin offers golf, spa, and general memberships. A stay in the hotel, a meal or a round of golf would all qualify customers to have access to the casino.