Local pols question Philadelphia casino’s future

    Investors in the south Philadelphia Foxwoods Casino project have little time to find new financing. After Las Vegas casino mogul pulled out of the project, local politicians are not optimistic.

    Investors in the South Philadelphia Foxwoods Casino project have little time to find new financing. After Las Vegas casino mogul pulled out of the project, local politicians are not optimistic.

    Foxwoods has to be back in front of the Gaming Board at the end of this month. It’s not clear what the Board will decide to do if the project does not have a new financial plan. But state Senator Larry Farnese (D-Philadelphia) says if they lose their license and put it out for a re-bid, the process should be different.

    “Let the Gaming Board pick the operator,” says Farnese. “But let the City of Philadelphia, the municipality and the community groups and the neighborhoods come together collectively and have input on where the site is.”

    But state Representative Mike O’Brien (D-Philadelphia) says the Board should revoke Foxwoods’ license and start over.

    “Philadelphia stands to lose nothing,” says O’Brien. “This will not affect the construction of the Convention Center. This will not affect the continuation in the wage tax. There is a zero sum game for Philadelphia.”

    Farnese says that if Foxwoods ends up losing its license, he thinks Steve Wynn will be back in town trying to bid for it.

    “When he said he’s enthusiastic about the prospects of gaming in Pennsylvania, I think he wants to be in Philadelphia,” says Farnese. “But I think he wants to build what he wants to build where he wants to build it. And if the license gets revoked I think you’ll see Steve Wynn back in the mix again.”

    An attorney for the Foxwoods group says many others are interested in the project.

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