Officials ponder next step on revoked casino license

The casino license for the long-stalled Foxwoods project in South Philadelphia has been revoked, and the gaming group is appealing the decision.

Interested parties gathered Thursday in Philadelphia City Hall to talk about the next step.

The bill up for discussion at the House Gaming Oversight Committee hearing would offer the license to the highest bidder statewide.

The real issue in question was, “Will Philadelphia get a second casino?”

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Committee Chairman Curt Schroder said the location of the casino should be determined by the bidding process, so taxpayers get the best return on that license.

“We have the Foxwoods license that’s been revoked. The Gaming Act is silent on what happens to a revoked license, so I believe we need to enact legislation to deal with that,” he said.

When Schroder asked a member of the Stop Predatory Gambling board what he thought should happen now that the Foxwoods license has been revoked, Paul Boni replied that the license should be eliminated.

“We know that the license is not a right — it’s a privilege,” he said.

City Councilman Frank DiCicco’s district includes the site of the city’s only casino, Sugarhouse, as well as the site that was proposed for Foxwoods.

“I’m not ready to throw the towel in. I still think Philadelphia has an opportunity given the right site to have a second casino. My opposition has always been to the location of the Foxwoods casino,” said DiCicco. “As I’ve said all along, I’m not opposed to casinos.”

Alan Greenberger, deputy mayor for planning and economic development, said the city would like to work with the state to develop a site-selection process. He said fears that Philadelphia’s first casino, Sugarhouse, would bring major problems, have not come true.

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