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Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Posted 9:09 PM by

Slots, beer battles in Pa. demand attention

The battle for a stand-alone slot machine license - and the quarters that it will bring - has pitted two of Pennsylvania's tourist areas against each other.Competition for one of two stand-alone slot machine parlor licenses has gotten so heated that folks in Gettysburg and the Poconos have begun trash-talking each other, the Sunbury Daily Item reports today.

Crossroads Gaming Resort and Spa in Gettysburg sent memos to reporters suggesting it has more potential to attract gamblers and generate state revenues for property tax cuts than two of its competitors in the Category 2 standalone licensing sweepstakes - Mount Airy Lodge and Pocono Manor, both located in Monroe County.

The memos arrived after Mohegan Sun announced it may withdraw its application for a racetrack slots license at Pocono Downs in the Wilkes-Barre area because the state's demand for 52 percent of the rake will hurt its profitability in a "small market."

Crossroads spokesman David La Torre said Mohegan Sun's concerns are the "clearest indication yet" that the Poconos can't sustain a racetrack slots casino and a standalone slots casino.

Meanwhile, Robert Uguccioni, director of the Pocono Mountains Vacation Bureau claimed the memo was "an act of desperation" because the Gettysburg slots proposal has no public support.

"We are the largest resort area in the Pennsylvania," said Uguccioni. "We have the closest proximity to New York and New Jersey markets than any other resort area."

Meanwhile, Nima Hadian has been extolling the virtues of the Belgian ale Hoegaarden to anyone who would listen since he signed a deal with the world's largest beer distributor, InBev USA, in ,1998 according to the Allentown Morning Call.

But now that the beer has name-recognition here, Hadian and his family-run business, Shangy's in Emmaus, are suing the distributor in federal court. They claim InBev is breaching the contract which made them the sole wholesaler of Hoegaarden in a 17-county region that includes the Lehigh Valley, the Poconos and Philadelphia.

Would you miss Hoegaarden if it's gone? Not me, but I'd probably drive to another state just to have a Chimay.Under arcane Pennsylvania law, wholesalers sell to local distributors, bars and restaurants, and only one wholesaler can sell a particular beer in a given market.

The battle could ultimately reduce the number of specialty beers available to Pennsylvania consumers, Hadian said.

If this is the way Pennsylvania regulates alcohol, I can't wait to see what happens with slot machines and casino gambling.
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