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Minority Owned Casino Backers Enjoy Long Shots

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With the exception of American Indians, minority groups historically have not succeeded in winning casino licenses in any of the 48 states that permit some form of gambling. Only Don Barden, an African American businessman from Detroit, can boast of owning five casinos.

No Atlantic City casino can be considered minority-owned. And in Pennsylvania, while diversity is encouraged in the licensing process, none of the 14 licenses has been set aside for a minority applicant. But those odds did not dissuade William R. Miller IV, a local businessman, and Obra S. Kernodle III from rounding up a dozen investors, largely from Philadelphia's African American business and professional sectors, to make a run at a Pennsylvania slots parlor.

"With two casinos in Philadelphia, one ought to have majority minority control," said Miller, vice chairman of the Pennsylvania Partnership Group. "We're not looking at it as just a casino, but a pathway to wealth-building for the African American community."

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