Pa. gaming board keeps restriction on DeNaples

Businessman Louis A. DeNaples
Businessman Louis A. DeNaples
Posted: March 21, 2014

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said no dice Wednesday to lifting restrictions on Scranton businessman Louis A. DeNaples' dealings with Mount Airy Casino in Mount Pocono, Pa.

DeNaples, whose businesses include banking, auto-parts, and landfill interests, developed Mount Airy but was forced to turn it over to his daughter after being charged in 2008 with lying to the board about ties to reputed mobsters.

A Dauphin County Court judge in May 2011 ordered the record of DeNaples' prosecution expunged after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court intervened to have the perjury charges against DeNaples dropped.

Nevertheless, a June 2012 order by the gaming board said DeNaples was still not allowed, directly or indirectly, to benefit financially from the casino without first getting board approval.

Mount Airy asked the gaming board last year to lift that restriction, enabling businesses owned by DeNaples to supply goods, such as auto parts, and services, such as garbage hauling, to the casino at cost.

Officials in the gaming board's Office of Enforcement Counsel were open to that, but first they wanted to complete their background investigation.

It didn't matter to those officials how much money was at stake in potential business dealings between DeNaples and Mount Airy.

"If it's one cent, he needs to undergo a background investigation," Cyrus Pitre, the gaming board's chief enforcement counsel, said at a January hearing. "We cannot ignore the history. To ignore that history would be to ignore everything. We might as well just take the previous records of this board and set them afire."

The result of the January hearing was that Pitre's office and lawyers for Mount Airy were given 60 days to agree on the scope of a background investigation required of DeNaples.

"As of this date, the parties have reported that the office enforcement counsel and Mount Airy's counsel have not been able to reach an agreement as to the scope of the background investigation," R. Douglas Sherman, the gaming board's chief counsel, told the gaming board Wednesday.

The board then voted unanimously to keep the restriction in place - though it remained open to modifying its order if DeNaples passed a background investigation.

Mount Airy's attorney, Michael D. Sklar, of Levine, Staller, Sklar, Chan & Brown, in Atlantic City, had no comment.


hbrubaker@phillynews.com

215-854-4651 @InqBrubaker

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