ShareThis Page

Gaming board: 6 apply for Philly casino license

| Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, 9:18 a.m.

PHILADELPHIA — Six groups submitted plans for the city's second casino license, including bids by casino magnate Steve Wynn, local real estate developer Bart Blatstein and three separate proposals that would put slots and table games in south Philadelphia.

Penn National Gaming, which already operates a casino in central Pennsylvania, submitted plans and announced it was exploring possible partnerships with other groups, including the city, as part of its proposal.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced the list Friday, a day after the application deadline. The $50 million license permits a casino with up to 5,000 slot machines and 250 table games in Philadelphia, which has had Sugarhouse Casino up and running since September 2010. There are currently 11 casinos operating in Pennsylvania, four in the Philadelphia region.

The nearby competition didn't discourage bidders.

Blatstein wants to put a casino at the site of the former headquarters of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News. That $700 million project would include a casino, a 125-room hotel and two parking garages, plus shopping and entertainment venues.

Wynn Resorts submitted paperwork for a project not far from Sugarhouse, near the Delaware River. The proposal also includes a luxury hotel, retail, restaurants and entertainment venues.

The three south Philadelphia proposals would be close to the homes of the city's professional sports teams.

Penn National Gaming, which runs Hollywood Casino at Penn National in Grantville, proposes Hollywood Casino Philadelphia just down the street from the stadiums. The group has plans for a 100,000 square-foot casino with 2,050 slot machines, 66 table games and a 15-table poker room, along with a 3,500-car parking garage.

Penn National has had preliminary talks with U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams and Philadelphia City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson about the project. The company can only own a third of the equity in the project because it already owns the other casino, so it is exploring partnerships. It also is evaluating the possibility of moving the project a few blocks away to property currently owned by the Philadelphia Industrial Management Corp., a quasi-public economic development agency.

Another application came from a partnership involving Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment Inc., which owns Parx Casino in suburban Bensalem, and Baltimore developer Cordish Cos. That plan calls for a casino at the site of an existing hotel outside Citizens Bank Park that would include a 240-room hotel, a 2,500-space parking garage, up to 2,000 slot machines and 125 table games, plus dining and entertainment.

A fifth group, PHL Local Gaming LLC, submitted plans for a casino not far from the Delaware River in south Philadelphia. Details of that plan were not immediately clear and messages left with the developers were not immediately returned Friday.

The final proposal involves The Goldenberg Group, a real estate developer, which has proposed a casino for a parking lot near the city's historic district.

Public hearings will be scheduled as part of the gambling board's review process.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.