Governor-Elect Tom Corbett is almost certain to change the face of gaming regulation in Pennsylvania, partly because he will be changing some of the faces on the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board itself. Chairman of the Board, Greg Fajt, will finish his term in July, 2011. Fajt was Governor Rendell’s pick and his former Chief of Staff and Secretary of Revenue. Corbett will also have one pick each in 2012 and 2013 to the seven-member board. Overall, each legislative caucus leader - House Republicans, House Democrats, Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats - gets one appointment each, and the governor gets three appointments.
On another front, the Board is moving away from its role of granting licenses and approving casino openings. In the near future, it will have only a regulatory/oversight role. Over the last five years, it approved twelve of fourteen casino licenses. And it’s likely to approve the 13th at a December 16 meeting. The license will be the second of two resort licenses permitted under the law. (At the same meeting, however, it might revoke a license granted to Philadelphia’s Foxwoods casino in 2006.)
Finally, the Board will face scrutiny from a Republican-controlled General Assembly and a Republican governor, who will have absolute control over the legislative process.