Harrah's Entertainment is the largest casino company in the world with annual sales of $8.5 billion.
Harrahs is set to open The Harrah's Chester Pennsylvania Casino & Racetrack in September.
The $430 million facility, whose 5/8-mile harness track is set to open in a little more than two months - on Sept. 10
This is a 64 acre harness racing track overlooking the DELEWARE River.
Harrah's PA casino will house 2,750 slot machines, and is planned to open in early 2007, pending PA state licensing approval.
"The impact on Delaware is going to be significant," said Will Cummings, a principal in Cummings Associates in Boston, a management consultant to the racing and gambling industries.
"I don't have my head in the sand," said Lofink, who is chairman of the Deleware House Gaming and Parimutuels Committee.
"This changes the whole environment. We have to be concerned."
Lemons said "there will be a significant hit in Deleware," from the competition in Pennsylvania.
Without slots, the average daily purse for the 45 days of racing scheduled this fall likely will be about $70,000 at Harrahs however, that figure, he said, likely will jump to between $150,000 and $200,000 soon after slots are installed.
By way of comparison, Dover Downs has average daily purses of $140,000 to $150,000.
Harrah's would not release its market studies for the Chester development, but Vince Donlevie, general manager of Harrah's Chester, said it expects to draw from the Philadelphia, Delaware and southern New Jersey regions.
"Maybe those folks who leave Pennsylvania to go to Delaware will decide to stay home," he said
Not to worry, the tax free shopping is a major draw to Delaware. Also, DDE has the Nascar races which draw attention to the slots and beach traffic all summer long, any rainy day is a slot day to beach travelers. The expansion will not only draw folks from DE, NY, and even NJ but will draw the locals back. DDE has the finest dining and the best buffett in Dover. Non-gamblers still go to eat there all the time. PA will not compare in my book since there are no surrounding attractions.