Expanded casino opens at Philadelphia Park

BENSALEM, Pa. - December 18, 2009

At 4:00 a.m., the first visitors started lining up, all bundled up, outside the new Parx Casino.

It may have been dark and bitter cold, but you can bet they wouldn't miss this grand opening.

"Just to be the first. I wanted to say I was here. It's beautiful so far," said John Sullivan of Somerton.

"Because I enjoy gambling. I enjoy playing the machines and the people up here are great," said Charles Miller of Mayfair.

Doors opened promptly at 6:00 a.m. and soon the casino floor was filled with visitors wondering if lady luck was on their side.

"I just wanted to get here before everybody else. I figured the machines probably would be running good," said Grace Donaghy of New Hope.

These first visitors couldn't help but be impressed. The $ 250 million casino boasts nearly 120,000 square feet of gaming space filled with 3,500 slot machines and electronic table games.

There is room to spare should legislation pass allowing live table games in the state of Pennsylvania, something Governor Ed Rendell is pushing for to avoid laying off at least 1,000 state employees.

"It'll help. It'll bring more money to the area I believe," said Ray Graham of North Philadelphia.

Today, the money was going right into those slot machines and visitors were hoping and praying even more money would come out with a big win.

"So far, I've been up all night. It's fabulous. Absolutely fabulous," said Robert Merrigan of Bensalem.

The new Parx Casino is located on the grounds of the Philadelphia Park Race Track on Street Road.

It is expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors daily.

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