Penn National, Mohegan Sun deemed qualifed to bid

The state gambling commission today deemed Penn National Gaming and Mohegan Sun qualified to compete for state casino licenses.

Penn is the last of three applicants for the state’s sole slot parlor license to be found qualified. The company has proposed a slot facility at Plainridge Racecourse, in Plainville. Penn secured an option to buy the property after the track’s original owners were disqualified from bidding.

The commission released its written decision on Penn about two weeks after grilling company executives at a two-day hearing about the company’s background and business practices. Commissioners had pressed Penn Senior Vice President Steve Snyder on an investigation into his earlier work in the financial industry by the SEC, concerning the pricing of securities. Snyder and the SEC settled in 2001. He paid a civil penalty but admitted no wrongdoing, according to the commission’s findings. The commission found that Snyder had testified candidly on the dispute, and decided he had the required good character to hold a casino license.

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“On the whole, the commission finds that the historic business performance of Penn National is generally above reproach,” the commission wrote.

Mohegan Sun, the first applicant to be qualified for a resort casino license, plans to build a gambling resort in Palmer. Mohegan Sun sailed through a commission hearing on its background investigation today, and then was deemed qualified to bid in a unanimous vote.