12/19/2007 12:00AM

Philly casino plan approved

EmailThe Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Tuesday granted Philadelphia Park Casino and Racetrack a permanent license to operate slot machines and approved the track's plan for a new slot-machine facility.

Philadelphia Park's temporary slots license was set to expire on Wednesday. The track has been operating 2,100 slot machines on the first four floors of the grandstand, but the new casino will be located at a stand-alone site elsewhere on the property, according to the plans approved by the board. Construction is scheduled to be completed by November 2009.

Last week, Philadelphia Park and its horsemen agreed to a seven-year extension of a live racing contract. Under the agreement, the track will spend approximately $25 million over the next eight years on backstretch improvements.

Because of subsidies from slot machines, purses at Philadelphia Park have more than doubled since its casino opened.