House GOP criticizes casino enforcement

February 4, 2008 12:56:03 PM PST
Republican state representatives on Monday said perjury charges filed against a casino owner prove that the state's system to vet casino license applicants is broken and called for changes in the law. The Republicans also criticized the Democratic chairman of the House Gaming Oversight Committee for failing to hold a vote on a GOP-sponsored bill that would give the attorney general's office a greater role in overseeing investigations into applicants' backgrounds.

"We all recognize that we have a problem and we don't need to be sticking our heads in the sand and pretending that it doesn't exist," said House Minority Leader Sam Smith, R-Jefferson.

Louis A. DeNaples, a northeastern Pennsylvania businessman who opened the Mount Airy Casino Resort in October, was charged Wednesday by state police with four counts of perjury. He is accused of lying to state gambling investigators about his relationships with four men - two reputed mobsters and two men at the core of a political corruption scandal in Philadelphia - to win a casino license.

DeNaples' attorneys say he is innocent and the subject of a witch hunt by the Dauphin County district attorney, who brought the state police case to a grand jury.