Harrah’s announces stake in Foxwoods casino

    Stalled project planned for South Philadelphia rejuvenated as Harrah’s becomes a minority partner in the venture

    A stalled Philadelphia casino project has new life. The Foxwoods project was on life support, but another major casino operator has stepped in.

    Harrah’s Casinos has announced an agreement to become a minority partner in the proposed Foxwoods project on the Delaware River in South Philadelphia. The announcement came on the eve of a hearing to revoke the project’s casino license.

    Joseph Weinert, senior vice president of the casino-monitoring Spectrum Gaming Group, said bringing in Harrah’s, which owns casinos and Chester and Atlantic City, is a good move.

    “Harrah’s is becoming the dominant brand in the mid-Atlantic region, so having one casino 25 miles away from another one is not an issue for the company because it has four within a couple of miles of itself in Atlantic City,” said Weinert.

    Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell says he’s happy that the Foxwoods casino proposed for South Philadelphia has new investors.

    “Harrah’s is one of the best operators of any gaming establishment in the country so I think its a positive sign,” said Rendell Tuesday. “And they’ve done a great job in Chester, a great job making sure that the community got the jobs and a great job in giving back to the community so if they do that in Philadelphia, that’s a real positive sign.”

    The Foxwoods project has encountered heavy neighborhood opposition in South Philadelphia.

    A spokesman for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said Tuesday the revocation arguments will go on as scheduled while officials review the deal.

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