Wednesday, February 6, 2008

PA board suspends casino owner's license

Pennsylvania's Gaming Control Board indefinitely suspended Louis A. DeNaples' license to run his Mount Airy Casino Resort today, according to a story by Mike Wereschagin of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.

The license was temporarily suspended last week when DeNaples (left) was indicted by a Dauphin County grand jury for perjury on his 2006 license application. Prosecutors say the Poconos casino owner lied about connections to two reputed Mafia figures - former Scranton-area crime boss Russell Bufalino and reputed boss William D'Elia - and two other men named in a federal corruption probe in Philadelphia.

Defense attorney Richard Sprague has protested the release of information linking his client to those involved in the Philadelphia corruption matter. He said the release prejudiced the public against his client. DeNaples, owner of a Scranton landfill and other businesses, has denied any connection to organized crime, an informal allegation that has circulated since the 1980s.

During 2006 public hearings into the casino project, DeNaples brought in a Catholic nun, Sister Mary Bonaventa, who praised his "great respect for the elderly and the poor."

The October opening of DeNaples' casino breathed new life into the old Mount Airy Lodge site. The business has generated $1.2 million per week. It will be kept open during DeNaples' license suspension, administered by a Gaming Board-appointed trustee.

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website Moderator of Mafia-related Google+ community and Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.