Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell


Pennsylvania Governor to Speak at Racino Conference

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, whose 2002 campaign platform included an endorsement for racetrack gaming, will issue a "major policy speech" Nov. 12 at the closing session of Racino 2003 at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort in West Virginia.

Global Gaming Business, a monthly casino industry magazine that offers the racino conference, said Rendell would speak about gaming issues in Pennsylvania, where the legislature continues to debate expansion of gambling. The most recent piece of legislation would authorize slot machines at eight racetracks, four of which currently operate.

The racino conference was held for the first time last year at Dover Downs, a racino in Delaware. Sessions will be held Nov. 11-12 at Mountaineer, which offers Thoroughbred racing and slot machines.

West Virginia currently has the slots market all to itself in its region, though the neighboring states of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Ohio are considering racetrack gaming. Efforts to pass it have stalled repeatedly, however.

Other keynote speakers at Racino 2003 include Thomas Baker, the president of International Game Technology; Frank Fahrenkopf Jr., president of the American Gaming Association; and Ian Penrose, managing director of Arena Leisure. Topics will range from marketing racinos to a comparison of slot machines to video lottery terminals.

Mountaineer has had VLTs since the early 1990s. Its president, Edson "Ted" Arneault, recently has lobbied for table games at the facility, which also offers live entertainment. The new hotel and conference center opened in 2002.