Register by noon today to offer input during Thursday’s hearing in Plains Twp.

Last updated: April 23. 2013 11:50PM - 4658 Views

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Those wishing to present oral or written testimony can register to do so by clicking on a special link on the Quick Links section at www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov. The deadline for registration to speak at the hearing is noon today. If you can’t make it to the hearing but still want to be heard, the gaming control board is accepting written comments that can be mailed, with a postmark no later than today, to the PA Gaming Control Board, Attention: Board Secretary, P.O. Box 69060, Harrisburg, PA 17106. The comments can also be faxed before 5 p.m. today to 717-346-8350.

Anyone with compliments or complaints about Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Casino can publicly air them Thursday to the state Gaming Control Board’s Bureau director of hearings and appeals.

The director will be at the Plains Township Municipal Building, 50 Second St., at 10 a.m. to take testimony from casino officials and the public as part of the renewal process for the casino’s gaming license. The renewal is required, by law, every three years.

For Mohegan Sun, which opened in 2006, this will be its second renewal and review. The board voted 7-0 in 2009 to grant another three years of licensure.

Since then, the casino has added table games, a variety of events and has begun construction of a $50 million, seven-story hotel.

Doug Harbach, a spokesman for the Gaming Control Board, said members of the public or elected officials have the chance, if they sign up in advance, to voice positives and negatives about the facility.

“This is about Mohegan Sun and what any individual or organization feels should be addressed to the board about some aspect of their operation,” he said.

The Gaming Control Board will then use the testimony and comments when it votes on renewal at a future public meeting in Harrisburg.

The casino and its officials also will testify and be asked to prove the casino has met its license requirements, including promises it made when seeking a license, Harbach said. That includes job creation, revenue projections, involvement in the community, diversity and more.

At the renewal hearings, Harbach said, the burden is on the renewal applicant to establish and demonstrate its eligibility and suitability for renewal of its license. He said no casinos have been denied renewal, to date, but the board does not simply rubber stamp the applications.

Mike Bean, the president and general manager of Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, said four officials from the casino are expected to testify, including himself, Kara Fox-LaRose, the casino’s assistant general manager; Anthony McGowan, the venue’s chief financial officer, and Mitchell Grossinger Etess, the chief executive officer of the Mohegan Sun Tribal Gaming Authority.

They plan to offer testimony with “an overriding theme of all the positive things we have done for the commonwealth and the local community,” he said. He cited as examples tax revenue, job creation, community involvement and continued development of the property.

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