Philadelphia has another chance to add a second casino.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is now accepting applications for the second Philadelphia casino license. Chairman William Ryan says the board decided it was time to move forward since Foxwoods is not building a gaming hall in South Philadelphia and the group behind that plan has exhausted all its appeals.
“The board will be looking for a suitable applicant and an applicant that can be successful,” said Ryan.
Mayor Michael Nutter is happy that the license will not be put out to bid statewide, as some lawmakers in Harrisburg were threatening. Nutter says he doesn’t have a preference about where a new casino should be built.
“This is the right decision at the right time keeping that license in Philadelphia has been a top priority getting action by the Gaming Control board is critical to reissue that license,” said Nutter. “This second license and this opportunity is about jobs and economic development.”
Several developers have already expressed interest about building a second casino in Philadelphia, including Bart Blatstein, who wants to use the former home of the Inquirer and Daily News on North Broad Street.
Even though the application deadline is November 15th, Chairman Ryan says don’t expect quick action.
“Before the board is in a position to make a decision it will be at least nine months to a year that’s my guess, based on everything I see and hear,” said Ryan.
Whoever wins should be ready for neighborhood opposition, that’s one of the issues that sunk Foxwoods plan — both on the Delaware River in South Philly and the proposed alternate site at 8th and Market Streets.