Casino operators file brief over fee dispute

The developers of Foxwoods and SugarHouse casinos Monday filed briefs with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, outlining the arguments they will make at a Sept. 6 hearing about when they must pay a $50 million licensing fee to the state.

The big bills were originally due July 27. But back then, the Control Board granted both SugarHouse and Foxwoods a stay until the hearing. Both casinos will plead their cases at the same meeting, and both will make similar arguments: They shouldn’t have to pay for a license until they have the permits to start construction.

 “We would be making this payment to the state, at the same time that the state and the city have not yet given us the ability to build,” SugarHouse spokesman Dan Fee said today. Foxwoods’ spokeswoman  Maureen Garrity, had this comment: “Until we can really use the license, we shouldn’t have to pay for it.”

The Planning Commission has approved both casinos’ plans. But the city has yet to create a zoning district that would allow casinos or issue building permits.

The Gaming Control Board hearing will be held at 2 p.m. at Hearing Room 1 in the North Office Building, located at the corner of Commonwealth and North streets in Harrisburg. It is open to the public.

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