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Wyo Gaming Disclose Details of Slot Plans for
Crowne Plaza Hotel in Reading, Pennsylvania

By Tony Lucia, Reading Eagle, Pa.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Jul. 10, 2009--A few details of the plans for a slots parlor proposed for a Wyomissing hotel emerged Thursday, a day after the state Gaming Control Board announced that an application had been filed for the $30 million project.

Kevin Feeley, spokesman for Wyo Gaming, the limited partnership which filed the application for gaming in the Crowne Plaza Reading, said the company is planning to locate the 500 slot machines allowed under state law in a conference room or ballroom area inside the hotel. Crowne Plaza is in the former Sheraton Hotel.

Don Dougherty, general manager of the hotel, would not comment.

Asked how proprietors would ensure that only hotel guests or those using its amenities would use the gaming facilities -- again, a requirement of the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act -- Feeley said there is technology available that would ensure no trespassing by non-guests would occur.

He also said more bookings definitely are anticipated at Crowne Plaza if Wyo Gaming secures a license.

"Certainly," Feeley said. "I have no projection for you. But that's one of the reasons for being involved in it."

Meanwhile, D. Eric Schippers, vice president of public affairs for Penn National Gaming Inc. -- along Berkshire Boulevard in Wyomissing close to the hotel -- said the firm had no knowledge of Wyo Gaming or of who its owners might be.

"We were surprised by it and we'd have to take a look to see what if any impact that might have on our operations in Grantville," he said, referring to the firm's Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Dauphin County. "We have not done that analysis yet."

Wyo Gaming said Wednesday it is planning to provide a 12,000-square-foot gaming floor inside the hotel.

The timeline for putting it in place, though, hinges on receiving the license, and fi rst the firm must undergo a rigorous review and background investigations on the principals, none of whom has been revealed.

The state began accepting applicants for the category of slots parlors, which could include the Crowne Plaza Reading, in 2006.

To date, it has licensed one, to Valley Forge Convention Center Partners, but that facility has yet to open. Wyo Gaming is applying for the only other license permitted in that category.

Contact Tony Lucia: 610-371-5046 or tlucia@readingeagle.com.

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Copyright (c) 2009, Reading Eagle, Pa.

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